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Should You Paint or Replace Your Aluminum Siding?

High quality aluminum siding is quite durable, sometimes lasting up to 50 years! But, even when properly maintained, the painted top coat will start to fade over time. Oxidation, sun exposure, and other natural elements cause the painted finish to become dull.

If your home’s aluminum siding is starting to look weathered, don’t worry! You can restore the look of the siding by repainting it or through aluminum siding replacement. Here’s what you need to consider when determining the best way forward for your home’s siding.

Consider the Situation
While physical factors are worth considering, it’s also important to think about why you’re updating the siding. If you want to take on the siding project because you’re selling your home, it doesn’t make sense to put tons of money into full siding replacement. In this situation, if painting it a reasonable fix, definitely choose the least expensive route.

On the other hand, if aluminum siding has made its way onto your “to-do” list because of structural issues, you’ll want to opt for replacement. Glossing over problematic siding leaves your home vulnerable, which may end up costing more money in the long run.

If you’re unsure the best route to take for painting versus replacing aluminum siding, you may want to consult with a professional. Having someone come and take an up close and personal look at the siding is beneficial in that any underlying or not-so-obvious problems can be spotted. This way you can have peace of mind knowing that you made the right decision to ensure your home is thoroughly protected.

When to Repaint Panels
Very rarely does aluminum siding need to be replaced. The good news is that most of the common damage can be easily repaired and covered by simply repainting the panels. For example, if the aluminum siding has started to fade or become discolored, applying a fresh coat of paint will completely cover the weathered look. In just a few hours, your siding can look good as new.

Repainting aluminum panels is also an ideal solution if the panels are stained, dirty, or chalking. These are all cosmetic issues that can become problems of the past once a new coat is applied. 

The key to long-lasting and effective panel repainting is to use high-quality paint. You want to use a paint that provides thick coverage that hardens. In turn, the panels will be protected with a scratch-resistant film that reinforces the durability of the panels.

By repainting the panels, not only will you restore your home to its original beauty, you’ll also extend the lifespan of the panels. Repainting is a cost effective fix for keeping your home protected from natural elements.

When to Replace Panels
While repainting is often the fix for worn and weathered panels, there are times when a fresh coat of paint isn’t the best option. Even though aluminum panels are quite durable, they are susceptible to dents, scratches, and perforations. If the panels have extensive damage, such as a large dent or perforation that spans across several planks, paint won’t be enough to cover the damage.

It’s also ideal to replace aluminum siding if it’s no longer attached to the home. When the siding is no longer structurally sound, paint won’t do much good. If your siding is peeling away from your home, it’s important to replace the planks, otherwise you risk rain and other damage caused by the weather.

If you have repainted the siding in the past, it isn’t wise to add another layer of paint. In order to add a fresh coat of paint to the siding, you’ll have to remove the first coat. Painting over a worn and damaged first coat can cause the second coat to peel and chip. The time and cost associated with stripping the paint and then applying a new coat makes the project as expensive as simply replacing the planks.

A last factor to consider is oxidation. If you notice white rust on the siding, it makes more sense to replace the planks versus repainting them and hoping the panels don’t continue to oxidate. Painting over oxidized metal may slow the problem but you can expect the oxidation to eventually strip the new coat of paint.

Conclusion

Knowing whether to paint or replace your aluminum siding plays a huge role in the look and protection of your home. Keep these factors in mind to make the best choice that ensures your home is protected for years to come.

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