Which Is Better Aluminum or Vinyl Siding?

Aluminum and vinyl siding are products that people use to cover the exteriors of buildings as a long-lasting protective measure.

Price

With aluminum or vinyl siding, people do not have to maintain wood with paint or stain to prevent it from deteriorating. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Most people are choosing vinyl siding over aluminum because most grades of vinyl siding cost less. Aluminum is still more common for commercial uses, however, because of other advantages.

Temperature

Aluminum siding holds up better in extreme temperatures. Vinyl becomes brittle in very cold weather, which can cause cracking and splitting. It also can melt if it encounters extreme heat, such as a barbecue grill placed too close to the building, and sometimes even a clothes dryer vent can cause problems.

Flexibility

Aluminum siding is more flexible and can be bent easily, so it is commonly used for trim with vinyl siding.

Leakage

Because vinyl expands and contracts with temperature changes, it cannot be sealed at windows and doors or in the trim areas. Wind-driven water can be blown into the tiny gaps. Waterproofing is commonly installed at these areas, but it also may be punctured by siding nails.

Color

With vinyl, color is added during manufacturing, so it penetrates the entire structure. Aluminum only has a thin layer of enamel coating, so scratching reveals the metal color underneath.

Fading

Aluminum siding develops a chalky buildup over time because of weather and erosion of the enamel, leaving it with a faded appearance. Vinyl also fades with time. Both can be painted.

About the Author

Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.