When it comes to buying a carport, there's a wide choice of styles, customisation options and construction materials to choose from. Metal carports are popular, but which is best: aluminium or steel?
Here's a comparison to help you decide which option would be best for you.
Although aluminium carport kits have the advantage of being much lighter than their steel counterparts, which makes handling much easier, this quality can present a disadvantage when it comes to strength. In order for a carport constructed of aluminium to offer a comparable strength to steel, it would have to be of a thick gauge, and this would increase the cost considerably.
Because of its comparatively poor strength, aluminium is not the best choice for double carports as it is too flimsy over a wide area. Single aluminium carports are robust enough to withstand normal weather conditions and use.
When it comes to maintenance, aluminium is relatively easy to care for. It doesn't rust and also has a high oxidation tolerance. Over time, aluminium can develop a white, chalky appearance, but this is easily removed by lightly scrubbing it with a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. If you live in a coastal area that's not prone to high winds, aluminium might be a better choice for you as it's not as liable to damage by salt water as steel is.
If you live in an area that's prone to very high winds, a steel carport will be stronger than an aluminium one, and in areas of heavy winter snowfall, a steel building has greater weight-bearing properties. Steel is also more heat-resistant than aluminium, so it is the better choice if you live in a part of the country that suffers from bushfires during very hot, dry weather.
From a maintenance perspective, galvanized or coated steel is very rust-resistant. However, if the coating becomes damaged and isn't repaired, the exposed steel will rust. You'll need to inspect a steel carport annually for signs of damage and re-apply a protective coating when necessary.
Compared with aluminium, steel carports are often considered the most durable. They'll happily stand knocks from car bumpers, wayward cricket balls and the like with little chance of sustaining serious damage. This is a noteworthy consideration if your carport is destined for use in a busy family environment.
There's a wide choice of metal carports available in both aluminium and steel and both materials have desirable qualities; it's really just a matter of what suits your environment and circumstances the best. Have a chat with your local carport supplier for more advice and guidance.