Can composite cladding be installed by the sea?

Installing cladding can be a great way to protect the materials underneath. This can ensure your property is not affected by the weather or environmental conditions.

Properties near the sea offer a great many benefits, and with thousands of miles of coastline in the UK, there are many properties that fall under this category.

Properties near the coast will have certain considerations that aren’t relevant to those that live further inland. One of the most significant of these is how salt affects materials.

This article will look at the benefits of composite cladding and consider it and other cladding material’s suitability for use on coastal properties.

 

What is Composite Cladding

Composite is a synthetic material that is created from wood fibres, plastics, and a bonding agent. The materials are typically moulded into shapes such as decking boards, cladding boards, and fence posts.

Products made from composite materials are significantly more durable than traditional timber options.

The plastic coats the wood fibres and protects them from rot caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. Composite materials are also impervious to wood-boring insects, and these qualities make them perfect for exterior use in the UK.

Ecoscape uses state-of-the-art co-extrusion technology to coat the durable boards in a thin membrane which offers even greater stain, scratch, and scuff resistance. The coating also protects the boards from UV damage, minimising fading.

 

Benefits of Composite Cladding

Composite cladding is a popular choice in the UK. Investing in high-quality materials ensures the property owner will get the best performance possible.

Composite cladding, deck boards, and fencing are all excellent options that will offer consumers the following benefits;

Long Lasting

Anyone investing in home improvements will have to ensure the quality of installation and quality of materials to guarantee a long-lasting result.

Installing cladding can prolong the life of materials underneath and protect them from the elements, so having a material that can withstand these is essential.

The capped composite cladding boards that Ecoscape offer come with a 25-year warranty. This is a huge show of faith in the quality of the product.

How your composite cladding is installed is important not only to how long it lasts but also for your warranty.

Supplier installation guides must be followed, and the accessories supplied must also be used. Failure to do this may compromise the building materials and invalidate a warranty.

Durable

Ecoscape is able to offer extensive warranties on capped composite cladding because of its durability.

Composite decking has a high level of scuff, scratch, and stain resistance, and the membrane that caps the core provides even greater protection.

The membrane also offers additional protection against UV rays, and this helps the boards hold their colour for longer. While some minimal fading will occur, the boards are guaranteed not to fade to a high degree and have a 25-year colour warranty.

Composite cladding won’t typically sustain the same kind of wear that composite decking boards will, but this durability and weatherproofing is essential for the UK weather.

Coastal properties that have to endure corrosive salt air must use materials that can withstand the damage it can cause. Composite is an excellent option as the plastics used in production protect the wood fibres.

Low Maintenance

Covering external walls with cladding can be a great way to protect your home, but having to invest time and money into maintenance can put a lot of people off.

Composite cladding is a low-maintenance option that you won’t have to paint, treat, or stain as you do with natural wood cladding.

Cleaning composite cladding is straightforward, and you should use a soft bristle brush and warm water to get rid of the salty residue or sand that can build up on properties near the sea.

You can also powerwash most composite cladding as long as the manufacturer allows it. Using a fan spray, a low pressure of up to 1,500 PSI, and holding the nozzle far enough away, so the board doesn’t get market is essential.

Appearance

Cladding boards are a great way to protect and insulate a property, but they are also used to change and improve the aesthetic of a building.

Natural wood, stone, and metal cladding all offer different finishes and styles that can complement certain types of buildings. Composite cladding is a great option that offers a range of colours and styles to choose from.

Ecoscape has panel or slatted ranges to choose from, and the variety of colours ensures you are able to find a suitable option.

Ecoscape’s range of decking, fences, gates, and balustrades ensures you are able to create a wonderfully designed outdoor area.

Many coastal properties benefit from having a balcony, terrace, or decking area to make the most of the sea views.

The composite materials used to make Ecoscape’s wide range of products ensure you can enjoy a long-lasting outside area that looks great.

Cladding can be a great way to tie an outside living area’s colour scheme into the home.

Environmentally Friendly

Minimising heat loss in your home is a great way to reduce energy bills. It is also something to consider when selling a property, as homes are tested for their efficiency.

A well-insulated home will get a better energy rating, making it a better prospect for potential buyers. Using less energy is also a great way to improve how environmentally friendly a home is.

As well as cavity wall insulation and high-quality windows, cladding is a great way to insulate a building.

Installing Ecoscape composite cladding is an excellent choice for anyone looking to choose an eco-friendly way to clad their properties.

Ecoscape uses recycled plastic in all composite products and, in 2021, recycled almost 4,500 tons of plastic.

The wood fibre used in production is also reclaimed and is saved from being wasted in landfills. The recycled wood used is made up of sawdust and wood chips and is sustainably and ethically sourced.

Easy to Install

Another excellent reason to choose composite cladding if you live in a coastal area is how easy it is to install.

Ecoscape cladding uses specially designed hidden fasteners that hold boards securely in place and allow for thermal expansion and contraction.

A full installation guide will be supplied with the materials and must be followed to ensure the cladding can perform well.

Hiring a professional cladding installer is advised unless you have adequate experience to safely install your cladding correctly.

 

Cladding Material Suitability in Coastal Areas

Any external work being carried out on a property near the sea must give due consideration to the materials being used.

Not all materials will be suited for this kind of area. Whether you are painting or installing windows, decking, roof tiles, or cladding, the materials you use should be suitable for coastal areas.

Depending on your exact location, the property may be more open to the elements. The wind, rain, sand, and salt air can all be significantly more damaging to a property by the sea than one nestled in a sheltered street further inland.

The following guide lets you know about the suitability of different cladding materials for installation near the sea.

Composite

Composite cladding is well placed to cope with the abrasive and corrosive nature of the wind and rain near the coast.

Salty sea air can cause many problems for a variety of materials, and moisture can also be a contributing factor to the rapid degradation of cladding and other external fixtures.

The durability and waterproof nature of composite cladding are ideal for seaside UK properties. The plastics used are not affected by moisture or the salt air and protect the wood fibre within.

The biggest issue that composite cladding may face when installed on an external wall near the sea is fading. Constant exposure to the sun can fade some composites, which is why investing in high-quality options from Ecoscape can be worthwhile.

Ecoscape composite cladding boards have an excellent colour warranty, and the cladding requires minimal maintenance to keep looking fresh.

Brick

Brick cladding is an excellent option for insulation and durability. Brick also has a low moisture absorption rate making it suitable for installation neat the sea.

The downside of installing brick cladding is the cost and time it takes for the installation process to be completed.

Metal

There are different metal cladding options that vary in suitability for use near the sea.

Metal is typically quick and easy to install and low in cost, and it can be an excellent choice that gives a property a bold, statement look.

Galvanised steel can be coated with a copper-nickel or zinc alloy to protect it against the corrosive salty air.

Aluminium reacts with oxygen to form a protective layer against corrosion.

Even with protection, metal can react with the salty atmosphere, so it might not be the best choice for coastal areas.

Timber

Natural wood cladding looks great but needs a lot of maintenance. It is not a good long-term solution for properties near the sea due to its high moisture-absorbance.

Hardwood timber will last significantly longer than softwood, but both will need to be treated to weatherproof them, protect them from moisture, and they will need to be regularly stained or painted.

Concrete

Concrete is a relatively expensive option but can offer a range of excellent finishes. It is a great insulator but can be corroded over time by salt water.

Ecoscape Composite Cladding

Ecoscape composite cladding boards are available in two styles; slatted and panel.

The panel range is available in six colours: silver birch, Havan, spiced oak, flint, midnight, and argent.

The board dimensions are 3,600 mm x 142 mm x 13 mm, weighing 2.23 per meter.

The flat brushed finish boards cost £55.88 per square meter and are made from 45% recycled plastic, and 55% reclaimed wood.

Ecoscape’s slatted composite cladding board range is available in midnight, silver birch, and spiced oak colours and costs £76.27 per square meter.

Boards are available in 2,500 mm and 3,600 mm lengths and are 121 mm wide and 25 mm thick. They weigh 1.82 kg per meter.

Discover more about Ecoscape’s low-maintenance cladding board options by visiting the slatted composite cladding board and panel composite cladding board pages.

 

FAQs

Should you paint composite cladding boards?

No, composite cladding boards do not need to be painted, and the Ecoscape range comes with a long guarantee.

Will composite cladding boards warp with moisture or sunlight?

No, composite cladding will only warp if it is not properly installed and presses against a hard surface during thermal expansion.

Will salt water stain composite cladding?

No, as long as you regularly clean your composite cladding to remove salt deposits, the stain resistance on high-quality boards should not be affected by salt water.

Is composite cladding worth installing on seaside properties?

Yes, composite cladding is worth installing on seaside properties. It will help to protect exterior walls and will last longer than many other cladding materials.

 

Final Thoughts

The idea of a house by the sea is many people’s dream. But maintenance can turn that dream into a nightmare.

One way to minimise the maintenance needed for external fittings is by investing in high-quality materials like composite cladding.

Composite cladding will protect the exterior walls from weathering and the salty sea air and can also help to insulate your home and reduce energy bills.

Another benefit of installing composite cladding is to change the aesthetic of the property and match a decking or terrace area.

Ensuring you choose a material that can withstand the UK weather and saltier atmosphere of coastal towns is essential. Composite cladding is designed to be durable, long-lasting, and easy to install. Check out our full range of composite cladding if you’re ready to make the dream of having your own home by the sea come true.

 

Gary is the founder and CEO of Ecoscape UK. Gary graduated from Liverpool JM University in 2007 with a 2:1 in Economics. A passion for innovation, design and sustainability, Gary has put to market numerous wpc products/systems, some of which have UK and European registered designs. Outside of work Gary enjoys spending time with his family, the great outdoors and watching Manchester United.