Steel siding was first patented in 1903, but initial designs were susceptible to water penetration and rust, which did not make it a particularly favorable material for siding. Further improvements in design eventually led to more widespread use in the 1930s. The material’s use in construction, however, was interrupted briefly during the war years when the demands on the US steel industry were concentrated on the war effort. Steel’s use in construction enjoyed a resurgence right after the war, when the housing shortage boosted sales once more.
The popularity of steel siding in the 1930s can be attributed to the agricultural sector which, at the time, experienced a marked shift from animal-driven to mechanized equipment. This shift likewise influenced the way things were constructed in rural areas. It was during this time when grooved steel siding was used to build “pole barns”, as doing so was seen to contribute to the durability of the buildings. The practice of using steel siding on buildings eventually became common in rural areas.
Today, there are two types of steel siding panels – galvanized and stainless steel – and their use today is no longer contained to just rural areas. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc, which protects the steel from corrosion. Stainless steel, on the other hand, contains chromium. This, too, helps in protecting the inner material from rust and corrosion.
Different types of siding are available for different applications. These include:
- Corrugated. Corrugated siding is the most flexible of all the options on the market, making it ideal for both residential and commercial buildings. It is also considered to be among the most economical, so property owners can count on having durable walls without breaking the bank. Corrugated steel siding can also be engineered specifically for facility maintenance applications, as well as for large-scale projects.
- Recessed. Recessed siding panels usually have concealed fasteners, which minimizes the number of visible through-holes. They also provide better protection against moisture penetration. You can find steel recessed siding with more than one panel, which is more suitable if you wish to create a more architectural look.
- Ribbed. Ribbed siding is another economical choice, combining form, function, and cost savings. Some ribbed siding products have trapezoidal profiles, which make for great accessories for use in especially demanding architectural applications.
Moreover, contrary to what most homeowners may think, steel siding does not come only in cold gray. Manufacturers offer a diverse palette, so property owners can design their homes and commercial buildings without needing to worry about sacrificing aesthetics. Homeowners can take their pick from various finishes and textures to achieve their style or design goals.
But is steel siding indeed an investment that is worth your money? Find out more in Part 2 of our three-part blog.