Steel Log Siding, A Low Maintenance Alternative
Steel log siding has a number of advantages over real logs or other types of log siding. Real logs and wood log siding both require a tremendous amount of maintenance over their lifetime. If you neglect the wood for just a few years, it can be very time consuming and expensive to repair the damage. Wood is prone to damage from moisture, insects, rodents and even woodpeckers!
Steel on the other hand requires little to no maintenance. It can virtually last a lifetime, with little to no effort required. Steel also has some advantages over vinyl log siding. It is stronger than vinyl and will not become brittle with age like some vinyl does.
Most steel log siding is of the seamless variety. Seamless steel siding is manufactured in large rolls or coils, and it is brought to the jobsite in that form. The installers feed the prefinished flat material through a machine that forms it into the log shape on-site, and then the material is cut to length. The pieces can be as long as needed to cover the entire length of a wall, thus eliminating the seams that are present with other types of materials. Some brands even have "hew lines" molded into the steel to make it look more realistic.
Log style steel siding can be used in new construction, or it can even be installed over top of the existing material. It is usually installed with a layer of insulation behind it. Most types also use a foam backer inside the rounded portions to provide extra strength and support.
The advantages of steel are (as mentioned above) the lack of required maintenance and the long life. It is considerably less expensive than real logs. The added advantage with the seamless type is that you don't have unsightly seams where moisture or insects can get inside.
Metal doesn't shrink or expand as much as vinyl does with changes in temperature, and won't warp, bulge, or crack. It also won't melt (like vinyl) if the barbecue grill gets too close, or become brittle with age or extremely cold weather. It is much easier to paint than vinyl log siding if you decide to change colors sometime down the road.
Steel siding does have a few disadvantages, though. You are unlikely to mistake any of the metal that I have seen to be real stained wood, at least not up close (some of it could pass for painted logs, though). Steel can rust if the finish is damaged and not repaired. Many people are not familiar with steel siding, and that could possibly affect the resale value.
An impact from a baseball may not harm vinyl log siding or wood at all, but it can dent metal. Steel is also generally more expensive than vinyl. If a panel is damaged, it can be difficult to repair, and may need to be replaced. You may not be able to get a new panel that matches exactly (although the same issue applies to vinyl).
If you want the log-style look for your home or garage without the maintenance of real wood, steel log siding is definitely worth looking into. It can last a lifetime, eliminate maintenance headaches, and allow you to enjoy the rustic style for less money than real logs or wood log siding.
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