Siding is one of the most important parts of your home’s curb appeal and appearance. It gives your home its color and style, while also performing an even more important function: protecting your home from the elements.

With so much depending on your siding, it can be hard to settle for a material like wood that will require a lot of scraping, sanding, painting and replacing in order to do its job. That’s why so many homeowners turn to lower maintenance materials like vinyl and aluminum siding for their homes.

Vinyl and aluminum can both offer you a much lower maintenance exterior, with all the beauty and interest that you want on your facade. While these are both very different materials, they are also both good choices for a variety of homes. Whichever one you choose will be sure to enhance your exterior.

Let’s take a look at aluminum siding vs. vinyl siding, so you can decide which is right for you.

What Is Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl is one of the most common types of siding in the United States. It’s been around since the 1950s and has been utilized as a viable, attractive and low- maintenance alternative to wood siding. Vinyl siding is made of polyvinyl chloride, a type of highly durable plastic. The color of vinyl siding goes straight through the material, so it won’t peel, chip or fade away as painted on color does.

The Look & Maintenance of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is usually formed to have a texture that resembles the look of wood. It comes in a wide range of colors and can complement a number of different property styles.

It’s most commonly installed in a lap siding style that’s popular across the country and can be found on nearly every style of home. Vinyl also combines well with other materials such as stone veneer or brick, so you can customize the appearance of your home when building new or work with existing features when replacing existing siding.

One of the biggest perks of vinyl siding is the fact it requires very little maintenance. Since it’s not painted, it won’t require scraping or sanding every few years the way that wood siding does. Any maintenance that may be required is generally to help keep it clean and can be accomplished with a garden hose and a mild detergent in most instances.

Vinyl Siding Installations in Varying Climates

Vinyl is fairly inexpensive, and in temperate or moderate climates, it can last for decades when properly installed.

Vinyl is available in different thicknesses as well, so it’s possible to opt for a thicker, more durable vinyl if you live in a colder or hotter climate, or if you just want the peace of mind that will come from having a higher quality siding material installed on the exterior of your home.

The Durability of Vinyl Siding

All vinyl resists cracking and breaking from age, though it can dent or show marks from impacts during severe weather. This is an important consideration for homeowners that live in areas that see a lot of hail or other types of significant weather events.

For homeowners in severe weather-prone regions, it’s important to check your siding after a weather event to ensure that there was no damage, or if damage is found, the siding replacement occurs quickly, so no water gets behind the panels. All in all, vinyl is a good choice for homeowners that want a low-maintenance, easy to care for material that isn’t going to need to be replaced anytime soon.

What Is Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum is another popular siding material in the U.S. It’s been around since the 1930s and was one of the first alternatives to wood siding to come to the market.

Like vinyl, it’s a lot more durable than wood, as well as much lower in maintenance. Aluminum is created to mimic the look of wood lap siding and is available in a wide range of different colors.

The Look of Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is available for purchase with either a smooth finish or a natural-looking wood grain finish, so you can choose between a more contemporary appearance for your home or a more traditional one.

Unlike vinyl, which has color that goes straight through, aluminum has a finish that is baked on. It doesn’t peel like wood and resists fading and scratching, so it’s still a very low-maintenance material. You won’t need to spend your weekends repainting or repairing it.

Aluminum pairs well with other material types and works well on a variety of different architectural styles. Both aluminum and vinyl are recyclable materials, but with aluminum able to be recycled indefinitely, it has the benefit of being an environmentally-friendly material as well. Plus, aluminum is made with and from recycled materials, for an added sustainability benefit.

Using Aluminum in Varying Climates

Aluminum is tough and durable, and because it’s a type of metal, it’s also a fire-resistant siding, which can be attractive to homeowners who live in areas that are prone to wildfires.

It also holds up well in more extreme climates, including cold and heat, and isn’t affected by most weather. It won’t freeze or melt, so homeowners who have experienced issues with extreme hot or cold impacting their siding won’t find the same problems with aluminum.

The Durability of Aluminum

Aluminum material doesn’t crack or break, so when it’s properly installed and maintained, aluminum siding can last for decades.

Most aluminum sidings are also fairly easy to repair if necessary, so there’s not a lot of ongoing maintenance costs associated with it. Like vinyl, it’s easily cleaned and maintained, and it is also paintable, so if you decide that you’re ready for a change of color, you can do so without needing to replace all of the siding at the same time.

Making Your Choice

In many regards, both aluminum and vinyl are going to be a good choice for most homes. Aluminum performs well in harsher climates, and vinyl is a great choice for more moderate climates. Both have similar insulating properties, and both are insect and moisture-resistant.

You may find that one has a color that works better for your home, or that one fits your budget better in the style that you want. While they are very different materials, they can both give you a very attractive home exterior that’s going to be low-maintenance, highly durable and long-lasting. If you’re looking to clad your home in either of these materials, visit Rollex to see more about how these durable and low- maintenance siding options could work for your home.