Siding is more than just an exterior. It’s like the skin of a building that protects it from the outside while keeping its fresh look. Although one typically thinks about residential homes when talking about cladding, it’s just as crucial for commercial structures. That said, metal siding is one of the most common options for business establishments. Despite being the norm, it’s hard to blindly invest in a material you know nothing about, right? To help you decide, here are the different strengths and weaknesses of metal siding.
What is Metal Siding?
Simply put, metal siding is an exterior made from metals like aluminum or steel. It’s sometimes referred to as metal sheets because they often come in wide panels. Contractors prefer the material since it’s easy to work with, while consumers love it for its durability and longevity.
Pros of Metal Siding
For sure, you want to hear the good news. Luckily, metal is the most popular commercial siding for many reasons, including:
- Metal siding is highly durable. You know how metal is almost indestructible unless dealt with extreme force or temperatures, right? Like you can’t even dent steel unless you put it under intense heat. It’s made to withstand the harshest of weather conditions without showing wear or tear. Insects can’t eat it away from the inside. This makes it perfect for commercial buildings, which are often located in the heart of cities.
- Decent aesthetics. Although metal siding isn’t the prettiest of all materials, it doesn’t look that bad. In fact, it has this dominant appearance that never fails to make an impression on outsiders. And when paired with other siding types, metal siding can even provide an attractive finish that makes buildings stand out.
- Low maintenance with longevity. Another solid reason to use metal siding is because of doesn’t require much to maintain. You’ll most likely just have to clean it every few years and take care of the rust. The average lifespan for the material is around forty years. With this, you’ll have more time to run your business while saving money on potential maintenance costs.
- Metal siding is recyclable. While the metal exterior isn’t directly eco-friendly per se, it’s great in not contributing waste products to the environment. Say you ever want to move your base of operations somewhere; metal siding can be recycled into other products.
- Metal siding is fire-resistant. Have you ever tried burning a piece of metal? Not much luck, huh? See, aluminum and steel are examples of materials with insane fire tolerance. And since most commercial establishments are built close to each other, fires can be disastrous. But when there’s metal siding on, many lives can be saved because it will keep the fire from spreading too quickly.
Cons of Metal Siding
Despite being highly sought out, metal siding isn’t perfect. Here are some compromises you’ll have to be aware of when installing your building with it:
- Metal siding is prone to rust. It’s no secret that metal rusts. But why does it happen, and what can you do about it? Basically, when water gets under the siding and through pinholes in the seams, it starts a chemical reaction. The result is rust which weakens the siding and makes it vulnerable to damage from weather conditions such as hail, high winds, etc. That’s why it’s not advisable to use metal siding around coastal areas and wet climates.
- Metal siding can be expensive. The best thing about metal siding is that it can be a long-lasting solution. But the convenience might come at a high cost. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs from $1 – $35 to install per square foot. Keep note that aluminum is much cheaper than steel. Overall, it’s still a pricey investment considering most commercial buildings are twice or thrice the size of regular homes.
- Insulation issues. Despite being fire resistant, insulation is a major problem with this siding type. That’s because metal conducts heat. This means your building might suffer from heat loss in winter and hot gains during summer. If you live in a humid area, an additional con would be trapped moisture that leads to rusting. To avoid this, make sure to consult your contractor on weatherproofing every corner of the siding and pad insulating sheets underneath.
- Prone to dents. Although durable, a significant problem with metal siding is denting, making it look unsightly. But keep in mind that the material rarely warps unless exposed to extreme conditions, like storms and hail. Nonetheless, repairing dents in metal siding can be difficult and expensive.
How to Ensure the Quality of Your Commercial Metal Siding
As a business owner, you want to keep expenses as minimal as possible. This means preventing potential damage and incurring only low maintenance costs. That’s why you will have to find reputable contractors to put your metal siding in place. Make sure they have the appropriate credentials, good legitimate reviews, and understand your needs and concerns.
Commercial metal siding is a considerable investment, but many business folks choose it for main reasons like durability and practicality. It shouldn’t disappoint you for the most part!