Composite material is a superior choice for your cladding, as it has so many benefits against the various outdoor elements. One of the main reasons homeowners choose composite material when installing decking in their outdoor space is for its exceptional resilience and resistance against the elements. The composition of composite decking is created with plastic fibres mixed with wood fibres and binding agents. Therefore, due to the synthetic aspect of the boards, they have moisture-resistant qualities, which reduce issues associated with moisture, such as warping or cracking. These are often issues faced for wooden and timber cladding, which leads to more maintenance over time that can be costly and time-consuming.
When using wooden cladding, extensive maintenance is required in order to retain its appearance and lifespan. This includes staining, sealing and painting to protect the cladding board surface. However, it is a common misconception that composite material needs sealing as well. This is wrong because the composite boards already have protective qualities from moisture. This implies that you won’t need to seal your boards.
What is composite cladding?
Composite cladding is often used on home exterior walls to protect the surface from elements. Without cladding, the wall can crack and become weak from moisture. Not only is composite cladding beautiful and will enhance your outdoor space, but it will also protect it from outdoor elements.
What is a sealant?
A sealant is a liquid product applied to the surface of wood material in order to coat it, ultimately protecting it from any damage. Sealing a wooden board provides a layer on the surface of the board that acts as a barrier from the elements. It is significant to note that a sealant product may prevent the grain of the wood panels from rising or may add colour to the material.
Although you do not need to seal composite decking, some customers may opt for extra protection on their boards. If you are choosing to seal your composite decking, follow these steps accurately:
Step one- Clean the cladding
The first step to applying sealer to the surface of your composite cladding is to ensure the boards are clean, removing all traces of dirt or debris. It is imperative to remove every trace of dirt, as once coated, it will be impossible to remove any dirt left underneath. Many customers choose to use a pressure washer when cleaning their cladding for a quick and effortless process; it is important to not go too close to the board surface when using a pressure washer in order to not damage the board. Another important thing to note is to avoid using bleach products when cleaning your cladding, as it can erode the board’s surface and distort the surface’s appearance. You can easily clean your cladding boards with soap, warm water and a soft bristle brush that will ensure no damage is caused to the boards.
Step two- Get your sealant
Now that your cladding is thoroughly clean, you will have to choose the sealant you wish to use. There are various sealants on the market to choose from, which can be confusing for customers. We recommend using a water-based sealant instead of a solvent-based sealant, as solvent or alkyds sealants will alter the colour of your composite cladding after application. Additionally, solvent-based sealants contain alkyds resins, which can serve as food for mould and mildew. Thus, promoting the accumulation of mould on the surface of the board.
Step three- Apply the sealant
It is imperative to read any instructions on the product you have chosen to use on your cladding prior to the application process. This will aid with the correct amount of times you will need to stain the board or how many coats it requires. You can spray the sealant or use a roller for the application, ensuring to use a brush to press the stain so that it will stick to your cladding. Avoid over-applying the stain or sealant on one particular area of the cladding, making sure to allow the product to dry before applying another layer.
In conclusion, you can technically apply a sealant to your composite cladding. However, it is unnecessary, and we do not recommend this, as composite cladding is naturally resistant to moisture and does not require extra protection against the elements.