There are improvements in building materials and installation methods that are easily understood and valued by the average homeowner because the products are highly visible on a home and you may have even experienced a problem with the product yourself. Triple pane windows, fiber cement siding and spray foam insulation are examples of products that are clear improvements over the products that proceeded them whose benefits are easily understood by the average homeowner. Fiber cement siding is clearly superior to wood siding because it’s flame, rot and insect resistant. Fiber cement is superior to vinyl siding because it won’t melt, is impact resistant and can be easily painted. Fiber cement has become the #2 siding product based on their benefits, long term value and is amongst the best siding options available.

Exterior siding manufacturers are constantly experimenting with new materials and processes for continuous product improvements. Often neglected and misunderstood is the role exterior trim products play in terms of aesthetics and performance. Exterior trims are the products that siding butts against at corners and around openings like doors and windows. Wood trims evolved to engineered wood, then PVC, then to fiber cement. Despite the evolution of materials, traditional trim boards functioned the same way. The latest improvement to trim “boards” has been with aluminum. Aluminum trim products represent a giant leap forward compared to traditional trim products because of how they are fastened, how they perform over long periods of time and their exceptional life cycle qualities. Here are 5 reasons why aluminum trims are the best exterior trims available.

1 Piece Outside Corners

Traditional outside corners require two boards that are butt together and fastened to the wall with face nails. As the building settles and moves, these boards can pull apart leaving an unsightly gap creating openings for water to penetrate behind the cladding. Aluminum corners are one piece profiles which completely eliminates the risk of pulling apart. Aluminum trims are also “blind nailed” therefore the nails are unseen, so the homeowner will never have to look at over-driven or asymmetrical nailing ever again. One piece construction also happens to be easier and less expensive to install than two individual trims.

Long Life Cycle

Subject to the best conditions, wood trims have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years and PVC trims have a life expectancy of 30 to 40 years. Wood trims don’t perform as well in wet climates and PVC trims under-perform in extremely hot and extremely cold environments. Fiber cement has a long life cycle provided it is installed properly and protected against water intrusion. Improperly installed and a failure to protect from water will cause fiber cement trims to fail long before they should – think years instead of decades. Aluminum trims are impervious to the elements. Neither water, humidity, extreme hot or cold will effect aluminum in a negative way. Unlike fiber cement trims, aluminum trims will perform as intended even if not installed perfectly. SPOILER ALERT – This definition of Life Cycle applies to the aluminum trim product only and not the Life Cycle of the aluminum itself, i.e. Sustainability.

Caulk-Free

Wood, PVC and fiber cement trims all have one thing in common: they all require caulk. Caulk application during siding installation can easily go wrong because it is a skilled process. The most common rookie mistakes are using the wrong caulk product and not leaving a gap wide enough for the caulk to set on three sides. Assuming you have a skilled applicator and the proper caulk has been used, you will still need to inspect all of the caulk joints on your home every few years to make sure they are still functioning, including those on your second and third floors – not easy. As the siding moves and a home settles, caulk can break open and allow water to flow into the wall assembly, potentially rotting the sheathing and creating a breeding ground for mold. Aluminum trims have pockets for cladding to sit inside, protecting the cladding edge and eliminating the need for caulk. The siding can move around inside the pocket safely while water that is driven inside the pocket is pulled down and away from the wall assembly by gravity. Caulk-free = responsibility free.

Modern Aesthetic

Modern architecture is booming in popularity as homeowners young and old choose to express their individuality and lifestyle choices through their unique modern home. The ultra-low profile, shadow reveals and anodized finish options of aluminum trims make them must have accessories for anyone considering buying or building a modern home. Aluminum trims can be color matched with the inset cladding to create subtle shadow details or used as a contrasting color to accentuate architectural lines and repeating shapes. Aluminum trims have essentially become jewelry for your modern home.

Sustainable    

Aluminum trims are recyclable and a wise choice for the environmentally conscious.

“Aluminum recycling benefits present and future generations by conserving energy and other natural resources. It requires up to 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than to produce primary metal and thereby avoids corresponding emissions, including greenhouse gases.

For most aluminum products, the metal is not actually consumed during the product’s lifetime, but simply used, with the potential to be recycled without any loss of its inherent properties. Therefore, the life cycle of an aluminum product is not the traditional “cradle-to-grave” sequence, but rather a renewable “cradle-to-cradle”.

This property of infinite recyclability has led to a situation where today around 75% of the almost one billion tonnes of aluminum ever produced is still in productive use, some having been through countless loops of its lifecycle.” (The International Aluminum Institute – 2016)

Ease of installation, exceptional all-weather performance, striking good looks, eternal sustainability and overall value are just some of the reasons aluminum trim products have captured the attention of architects, builders and savvy homeowners across North America.