How to Know When to Replace Aluminum Siding

How to Know When to Replace Aluminum Siding 1

How to Know When to Replace Aluminum Siding

When your aluminum siding has seen better days, many homeowners are faced with these 2 options, replace aluminum siding or repaint it.

In this blog post, you will learn when to replace your aluminum siding. And on the other hand, you will also learn why repainting is the best choice you’ll ever make.

As a homeowner, you must first examine the present condition of your siding. Does it look faded and weathered? Or is it damaged?

If you notice chalking or powdering on the surface of your siding but the panels are in good condition then repainting your siding is the best option. It costs less than replacing it with new vinyl siding or with new aluminum panels. But keep in mind that painting is just a short-term solution.

Your house will need siding replacement if you see gashes and dents on the panels. You can do-it-yourself or you can contact Metco Remodeling, a family-owned business that specializes in home renovation.

Signs that tell you when to replace your aluminum siding

You should replace your siding when it has:

  • aged or worn out
  • large dents
  • perforations
  • contributed to an increased energy cost

Aged or worn out

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNachi), properly maintained aluminum siding can last up to 40 years.

But when your siding starts to show its age and is worn out, it can no longer protect and insulate your home. Besides, an unattractive and worn-out siding can be a drag to your curb appeal.

Large dents

Aluminum panels are prone to dents and dings. Damages are worse especially if you live:

  • near a children’s playground
  • in a tree-heavy area or
  • in a region that gets heavy storms including hail

Large dents are hard to repair and require a lot of work. To repair dents and gashes you need to:

  1. Drill a hole through the dent.
  2. Pull the panel out.
  3. Patch the hole with an automotive body filler.
  4. Apply 2 coats of primer.

One drawback when repairing aluminum panels is the issue with matching the color of the new panel with the color of existing panels. Hence, the solutions are either replace the whole section or repaint your house.


Aluminum materials are prone to perforations. For instance, sharp objects or debris from strong winds can strike your siding and puncture the panels.

Increased energy cost

Since aluminum is made of metal, it is excellent at absorbing heat from the sun. Thus, it is not a good insulator and using it as a home siding can decrease energy efficiency.

Aluminum siding versus vinyl siding

Many home improvement companies recommend vinyl as the best siding replacement for aluminum siding. However, there are certain areas where vinyl is an unsuitable material as a house cladding.

Choosing between the two as the best siding material is one of the most heated discussions in the home renovation and construction community.

Below is a comparison of the two most common types of siding materials in terms of:

  • Durability
  • Cost
  • Lifespan
  • Maintenance and
  • Energy efficiency


Vinyl siding is highly durable when the panels are installed correctly. Modern vinyl panels can:

  • withstand strong winds and high temperatures
  • retain the color despite exposure to the elements and
  • resist impact

But since vinyl is not fire-resistant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not recommend vinyl siding in wildfire-prone areas.

On the other side, aluminum is fireproof, it does not burn and melt easily compared to other cladding materials. Although it is relatively durable, it is vulnerable to scratching and denting.


If we exclude the cost of high-quality vinyl products, the average cost to install standard vinyl siding is around $4 per square foot. On the flip side, the cost to install aluminum siding ranges from $3.50 to $4.75 per square foot.


The characteristic of the region where your house is built is a major factor when choosing the right material for your siding.

With proper maintenance, vinyl materials can last up to 40 years in regions with a mild climate.

On the other hand, aluminum materials can last up to 40 years or more and are suitable in regions that experience extreme temperature changes.


The color of a vinyl material doesn’t fade since it is baked during the manufacturing process. Vinyl materials are extremely low maintenance. The only upkeep you need to do for your vinyl siding is the occasional cleaning.

Contrarily, the paint color of aluminum materials will fade over time. You will have to repaint your aluminum siding every 5 to 10 years as exposure to the weather, the sun’s heat, and oxygen often results in chalking (powdering) of the paint job.

Energy Efficiency

Vinyl siding is excellent at improving your home’s energy efficiency. Vinyl panels are thicker, which makes them better at insulating your home.

In terms of energy efficiency, aluminum panels do not perform well under extreme temperatures. Aluminum siding tends to absorb heat thus causing your house to heat up more rapidly.

And as a result, you’ll have to rely more on your air conditioning to cool your home’s interior.

When is painting aluminum siding a better choice?

Here are the reasons why you should leave your aluminum siding as is and instead repaint it.

It’s worth investing in durability

If you’re planning on switching on a  new siding material, think again. While the original paint finish will wear down after several years, the aluminum material underneath can last for decades.

Chalking means it’s time for repainting

The chalking or powdering of your aluminum siding is not a sign of wear and tear. Chalking is just a result of degradation on the protective paint caused by years of exposure from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Yes, the powdered look on your siding isn’t great to look at. However, you might want to slow down from power washing that powder off. Water can sand down the paint film that protects the material.

Fixing small dents and painting aluminum siding

Small dents on your aluminum siding don’t mean you must replace the entire section. We at Metco Remodeling will fix and smooth out dents so your siding will be ready for repainting. Even if all the protective paint film has worn down, it’s no problem at all. Paints adhere to aluminum surfaces quite well!

DIY step by step guide to repainting your aluminum siding

Surface Prep

Before painting your old siding, you need to do a bit of surface preparation. Here’s how…

  1. Scrape off any peeling or flaking paint from the surface.
  2. Remove old caulk lines and put in new ones.
  3. With 3 parts water and 1 part bleach solution, scrub away any mildew from the surface.
  4. Hand-wash the siding with warm water and soap to remove grime and dirt.
  5. Wait for 3 to 4 days to allow the siding to dry completely.

Painting Aluminum Siding

To protect adjacent areas and items near the siding, use plastic sheets and a painter’s tape. Remember to remove the tape once the paintwork is completed. This will prevent the tape from sticking to the surface permanently.

  1. Applying a galvanized metal etching primer will produce better results. With a synthetic polyester paintbrush, coat the entire surface area. Wait at least 4 hours for the primer to cure.
  1. The second stage is to use a 100% acrylic exterior paint. A paintbrush works well when painting the edges of the siding. You can then follow up painting the entire siding with a roller.

To ensure the paint is evenly distributed over the roller, run the tool back and forth over the ribbed area of the tray.

On a horizontally-oriented siding, operate the roller from left to right. If the siding is vertically-oriented, wield the roller from the top of the siding and go down. Use a clean paintbrush to smooth out bumps in the wet paint.

  1. Wait at least 2 hours for the first coat of paint to dry. Apply a second coat to create a professional-looking and long-lasting finish.

Not the DIY type of a person? The step-by-step guide above sounds like hard work?

Let our experienced technicians take care of your home remodeling needs

For your home’s roofing and siding needs, Metco Remodeling can assist you in any type of home improvement project. Whether it’s installing a new siding product or just painting aluminum siding, we always ensure our work is completed in the most efficient and timely manner.

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