Adding wall cladding can give a contemporary or traditional look to your home as well as massively help with its durability and protect it from general wear and tear. Some cladding materials can also help insulate your property whilst protecting it from the elements. There are numerous options for cladding materials, and in this article, we look into some different options and explain why you may want to clad your home.
Wood Cladding Materials
The timber cladding material is suitable for your home but is becoming a less desirable option as more innovative materials come to the market. Unfortunately, trees are constantly cut down in order to meet the demands for timber infrastructures. Timbers can only be used for cladding if they are treated before use. If the timber is hardwood, then there is less treatment required. Softwood, on the other hand, must be chemically treated in order to make them resistant to mould, mildew, rotting and insects. Hardwoods are also much less prone to movement, which therefore retains the stability of the coating. Wooden materials, in general, are also more challenging to maintain when compared with their competitors. Wooden cladding and decking require regular staining, sealing and painting in order to give the material a decent lifespan. Wooden cladding will trump its competitors on price but fall short when it comes to ease of maintenance, durability and general longevity.
Composite cladding materials
Cladding is a term that refers to materials attached to a building in order to form non-structural, external surfaces. Composite cladding is mainly fitted for its aesthetic appearance and does not generally contribute to the stability of a building. A phrase that you may hear when looking for cladding is “wind load.” A wind load describes the force on a structure arising from the effect of wind on it. Wind loading can potentially have a good or bad impact on the surface of a building; therefore, cladding must have the required integral strength in order to withstand the loading. Cladding, in general, tends to have multiple functions. It is designed to protect external walls from the elements and can also add a layer of insulation. The boards tend to enhance the overall visual appearance and add additional beauty to properties.
Vinyl cladding is a plastic exterior for buildings. It is often used for aesthetic appearance and weatherproofing, which imitates wood clapboard and batten board. Vinyl cladding is similar to wood plastic cladding as it is made of recycled plastics to create a durable product with fade-resistant properties. Given that vinyl cladding has a chlorine base, it will not ignite quickly and, therefore, generally have a good level of fire resistance.
This material will give a natural look to your home and will also give brilliant insulation against harsh weather conditions. The long-lasting and durable properties of stone cladding will also increase the value of your home, as surveyors will look at this. It will provide a classic and modern aesthetic to the property and definitely be an enhancement. The main drawbacks to stone cladding are that it requires a structural substrate which requires additional funding. It is also one of the more expensive options, which is also labour intensive and time consuming to install, which, again, adds additional costs.
Brick is a vital construction element that has been utilized for hundreds of years. The material offers an exceptional level of resistance and is probably the best performer against weathering. It is also very resistant to fire which is why you see them being used for fire pits and chimneys. There is no maintenance required; however, the obvious drawback to investing in brick cladding is the overall cost of construction and the cost of materials. Another reason people may not choose brick over other materials is that it is very common, and people like to have something that is more unique and will turn heads.
PVC refers to plasticised polyvinyl chloride. Composite cladding is made with different elements, such as recycled plastics and wood fibres, whereas PVC cladding is 100% plastic. PVC was innovated to minimise maintenance and prevent the regular issues you would witness with traditional wood. Likewise to traditional composite cladding, it is also a strong and lightweight building material. PVC is easily customizable due to its pure plastic nature. Colours such as mahogany, ipe and redwood are available in PVC cladding.
If you are creating an entirely new building or renovating an old one, aluminium cladding is something to consider. Aluminium cladding can massively help insulate infrastructures. This will make a building more energy efficient and contribute to its level of sustainability. This is ideal for high-rise buildings and big blocks of flats. Given that aluminium’s surface oxidises, it will produce a hard, dense and protective layer that prevents corrosion. Aluminium claddings can last all the way up to 40 years which really displays the durability of the material.
To conclude, you may want to clad your home in order to protect your home from harsh winds/weathering, to add aesthetic value or to provide additional insulation for your home. Before choosing a material for the product, you should outline your desires and match these with the correct material. Ask yourself, what budget are you on? Are you adding cladding just to simply enhance the look of your home? Do you want to make your home more insulated in order to reduce that monthly energy bill? The answers to these questions will dictate if you should clad your home and also help you choose the right material.