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EXTERIORS of buildings
ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in buildings
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
BARK SIDE UP on DECKS & STEPS
BASEMENT WALKOUTS & COVERS
BRICK STRUCTURAL WALL Loose Bulged
BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
CAULK GUN TYPES, CHOICES
CAULKS & SEALANTS, EXTERIOR
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DECK FINISHES COATINGS PRESERVATIVES
DRYWELLS, FRENCH DRAINS for FLAT SITES
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING STAINS
FLASHING ROOF-WALL SNAFU
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
HOUSEWRAP / SHEATHING WRAP
ICE DAM PREVENTION
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LOG HOME GUIDE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
RAILINGS, DECK & PORCH
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
ROOF CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
SHEATHING, Gypsum board
Sheathing Celotex Homasote & Other
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE VENEER WALLS
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WINDOWS & DOORS
Aluminum siding inspection, diagnosis, repair: this article discusses the identification, history, and common defects observed in aluminum exterior building siding, such as weathering, paint loss, dents, and questions about the need for a vapor barrier behind asphalt siding and over building sheathing. Included are comments from several recognized building inspection and construction authorities. Our page top photograph shows 1960's vintage (wideboard) aluminum building siding installed over peeling deteriorated wood clapboards on a pre-1900 home in Poughkeepsie, NY.
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Aluminum siding, produced from aluminum coil stock and painted in a wide variety of colors, provided a durable exterior building cladding that resisted rust and rot. Aluminum siding in its earlier forms was typically produced in a (roughly) 6" wide clapboard stock, installed with a fiberboard backer to resist denting in some cases. By the 1970's a narrow-width aluminum siding "board" stock was in popular use in both smooth surface forms and in embossed designs resembling wood.
Identifying Aluminum Building Siding
It's easy to distinguish between aluminum siding and vinyl siding products by careful visual inspection of the material edges or by observation of dents (aluminum) versus breaks or impact damage (vinyl). But to distinguish between aluminum siding and it's steel lookalike you may need a magnet (or you might see rust).
Our aluminum siding photo (below right) provides a closeup of 1960's vintage aluminum siding that is losing its paint coating. The right hand photo shows a nice algae growth on this shaded, aluminum-sided building wall that was covered with a narrow-gauge wood-pattern embossed aluminum siding product in the 1980's.
Watch out: some versions of aluminum siding (especially from the 1960's) included a paint coating that weathered, chalked, and even washed off entirely, leaving a bare aluminum surface (photo below left).
The painted coating on some aluminum siding can also be "pulled" off of aluminum siding by some fungal growths (artillery fungus) and by vines (photo below right).
Steel building siding was sold based on advantages similar to aluminum siding (see Aluminum siding) but with disadvantages of heavier weight, more difficult to install (harder to cut and trim), and vulnerable to rust. Steel siding was never as popular in North America as aluminum nor its later replacement - vinyl.
Photos and notes on steel siding are wanted - CONTACT US.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about aluminum siding
Questions & answers or comments about aluminum siding on buildings
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.