In the past decade, the building industry has introduced pre-weathered galvanized siding for buildings. Same idea as weathered new blue jeans I guess. However if you look at the new building shown here, you’ll see that the siding is quickly deteriorating because of combustion gases from a condensing furnace. Other random places on the siding seem ready to rust straight through after only 5 years.
Bad Siding’s Evolution
Galvanization is the process of coating steel with zinc in order to prevent rust. Galvanized steel is used in many building products such as roofing, flashing, and air ducts. In particular, corrugated galvanized steel is widely used to roof agricultural and industrial buildings. About 20 years ago to my great surprise, galvanized steel became chic for building siding and even for interior wall cladding. Salvaged and rusted galvanized steel was even more chic for siding and even roofing. Why the building officials permitted this reuse of heavily weathered material on brand new building exteriors I’ll never know. When they ran out of the old weathered stuff, they decided to manufacture glamorous rusty siding.
The siding in these photos was galvanized with the typical process and the washed with acid to cause rust. Crazy, right? I wonder where the poisonous zinc goes when they wash it off of millions of square feet of galvanized steel siding?
Make It Go Away, Please
Does this building owner really want to replace 100,000 square feet of siding after just 10 years of service? Just hold the acid wash, and you might get 50 years of wear out of the same siding. In some places rust flakes and staining are visible on the ground around the building after about five years. Does this siding look beautiful to you? What were the architect, general contractor, and building inspectors thinking?
I wonder if there is an award for the worst building product ever manufactured because this product would be very competitive for that worst-ever award. Pre-weathered siding and even roofing is a stupid idea and the building code officials or some other authority should ban its manufacture and use.