3 Ways You Can Improve The Appearance Of Your Steel Siding

Steel siding is one of the best siding options for homeowners, especially since it requires less maintenance than vinyl or wood siding. However, if your steel siding is old, you might feel it needs a slight spruce-up; it could be faded, scratched, rusty, or the color could be a little dated. Here are three ways you can easily improve the appearance of your steel siding without having to replace it. 

1. Properly clean your siding. 

You can clean steel siding with gentle laundry detergent mixed with water. The job is made easier with a power washer, which is another benefit of steel siding -- you can't use pressure washing methods on vinyl, but steel siding is very durable and can stand up to pressure cleaning.

Mix half a cup of detergent with five or six gallons of water. Before you use the power washer, you can use a scrub brush on a telescoping pole to loosen the grime and dirt on the siding. Scrub side to side first before scrubbing up and down. Then, use the lowest power setting on the washer to spray off the siding. If you have areas with mold or mildew, wipe them with bleach and then rinse them with water.

2. Paint your siding.

Many newer types of steel siding are not painted. Instead, they have a baked-on color coating that is more durable than paint. However, the trouble with this type of finish is that you can tire of the color. Some colors, like bright red or blue, can start to look dated to homeowners. The siding might be in great condition, but the color is holding your house back from getting a much-needed facelift. Older styles of wood siding could be rusty or corroded because of exposure to moisture and salt. In either case, paint can be a good option.

Before painting, you need to remove all surface rust with a steel brush. Then, you'll need to use a steel primer that helps to prevent rust in the future. You'll need this on both coated and uncoated steel -- it provides an extra barrier for moisture, and it helps to make the final paint layer adheres to the siding. You can use a brush or roller to apply an oil base exterior finish, or you can use a power spray paint machine. Spray painting helps you save on labor, but it can be challenging to make sure the finish is uniform if you have not had experience applying paint with a sprayer. You may want to hire a contractor to paint for you in order to get the best result. 

3. Apply a new seal coat.

If you have steel siding with a baked-on finish and you don't want to change the color, you can look into applying a new coat of sealant. Colored siding can begin to look worn or faded after decades of exposure. The sealcoat allows for the existing color to look new again, but it can also be a great solution for making the siding more wear resistant in the future. Generally, a new sealcoat helps with the following:

  • prevent rust in salty or damp environment. Humid or coastal homes especially will benefit from this type of siding renewal.
  • eliminate the expense of paying for current and future exterior paint jobs. 
  • prevent future dirt and debris build-up.
  • protect the new finish from damaging elements like bird droppings, insects nests, or acid rain. 

You don't have to pay for a new siding job if your steel siding is looking tired -- it still has plenty of life left. For more information on refreshing the look of your steel siding, talk to a siding contractor in your area, such as those at Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc.