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What is Corrugated Siding?

By Herb Marlow
Updated May 17, 2024
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Corrugated siding is an outer building cover made up of corrugated or ridged sheets of metal, fiberglass or vinyl attached in either horizontal or vertical patterns. Siding is called corrugated when it has been pressed or produced in the factory in a hill-and-valley pattern, with a half-inch (1.27 cm) depth to each valley. The most common corrugated siding is made of galvanized steel.

The corrugations in corrugated siding provide strength to the sheets of material, and allow them to be fastened to a framework with studs or cross members set much further apart than normal non-corrugated material. The corrugations in corrugated siding give flat material the rigidity required to withstand denting and bulging.

Corrugated metal siding is widely used for farm and ranch buildings as it is a sturdy and inexpensive building material. This siding comes in different strength gauges for thickness of material, and different lengths, though most is manufactured in 27 1/2 inch (69.85 cm) widths, which means 24 inches (60.96 cm) of cover with a 1 3/4 inch (4.45 cm) overlap on each side.

The sheets of corrugated metal are usually attached in an upright or vertical position from ground to roof overhang, though they may also be attached in a horizontal pattern. Nails or screws can be used to attach the corrugated siding to a framework. If attaching corrugated siding to a metal framework, self-tapping screws are used.

While galvanized steel is the most commonly used material for corrugated siding, aluminum is also popular in some areas. Corrugated steel is much stronger than corrugated aluminum, and it is much more dent proof, but in areas where there is a lot of wind and hail, steel corrugated siding is preferred.

However, in coastal regions where the atmosphere contains large amounts of moisture and salt, aluminum is often preferred over steel even though it is not as strong. Aluminum siding will provide greater durability than steel in the long run, due to its ability to form aluminum oxide, sealing the aluminum from further deterioration by providing a hard coating on the siding.

For patios and porches, corrugated fiberglass or vinyl may be used as both siding and roofs as these materials will allow light through while protecting from the direct rays of the sun. However, these materials cannot take direct blows as steel or aluminum can. Where steel or aluminum corrugated siding may finally dent under heavy blows or excessive pressure, fiberglass or vinyl will break.

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