It’s a good question, and it’s one we hear a lot. The answer: aluminum, like all materials, will get hotter when exposed to direct sunlight. But aluminum performs better than other common railing materials because of its ability to dissipate heat.
Better than most
Aluminum dissipates heat much faster than steel or wood. This means that when the sun goes down your aluminum railing will cool back to the ambient temperature very quickly. It’s important, because folks are often careful about touching exposed surfaces when the sun is scorching, but they let down their guard when the sun is gone. It’s not a problem with aluminum because of its thermal properties.
Dark colours absorb sunlight throughout the visible spectrum. The energy stored is emitted as heat. Light colours reflect sunlight. They remain cooler because they aren’t storing much of the sun’s energy. If heat is a concern for you, go with lighter colours, regardless of the material you’re using for your railing. They will always be cooler than their darker equivalent.
The bottom line
Aluminum railings do get hot in the sun, but they perform a lot better than other materials like stainless steel, wrought iron, or wood. All things being equal, a black railing will get hotter than a light coloured railing. On unusually hot days, when your railing is exposed to direct sunlight, a quick touch test is a good idea.
If you have any other questions about aluminum or other materials we’re happy to answer them. Call 613-736-1122 or hit the chat button on the right during business hours.