If you’re considering adding composite cladding to the exterior of your home then you will most likely have a number of questions on your mind.
Is composite cladding expensive? Is composite cladding water-resistant? Does composite cladding fade?
The last question may not be the first one that you ask yourself but it is important.
Fading reduces the visual appeal of cladding and if it starts to lose its colour this can be detrimental to the look of your entire home. When this happens, it often means it needs to be replaced. This, of course, can be very costly and time-consuming.
In this article, we’ll examine just how fade-resistant composite cladding actually is. This should help you to decide whether this type of cladding is the right choice for you.
What Is Composite Cladding Made Of?
Like all composite products, composite cladding boards are made from a mixture of recycled wood and plastic. This unique combination of materials makes them highly durable and long-lasting.
It also gives them many advantages over other types of cladding boards. They are very resistant to water absorption, staining, scratching, and warping. Composite materials are also the most eco-friendly option compared to other cladding types.
Our composite cladding boards are made with 95% recycled materials and FSC-certified wood. They’re available in 6 contemporary colours including silver birch, spiced oak and midnight.
This makes it easy for you to find a look that will complement the aesthetics of your property. Our composite cladding products also come with a 25-year warranty so you can rest assured they’ll be with you for many years to come.
Is Composite Cladding Totally Resistant To UV Rays?
So, we’ve established some of the many benefits of composite cladding. But, The truth is that some composite cladding does fade slightly over time.
During the first 3 or 4 months after installation, there is usually a natural weathering process that takes place. This is generally with first generation composites (uncapped composite cladding cladding will fade) – Our Ecoscape Forma cladding is guaranteed agains fading for 25 years.
This is because the natural wood oils in the boards will begin reacting to weather conditions and the sun’s UV rays. The process is sometimes referred to as extractive bleeding.
This begins a natural process of lightening in which the colour of the boards will fade slightly. However, this will not result in a drastic colour change and may not be very noticeable.
If you have composite decking as well as cladding you may be wondering what makes your composite decking fade more quickly than your cladding. The main reason for this is that composite cladding is installed perpendicularly to the ground.
This means that water doesn’t pool on its surface and it takes longer for the natural wood oils to wash away. Due to this, it can take around 8 to 16 weeks for these natural wood oils to be fully washed away.
If your cladding was installed in warm and dry weather conditions then the extractive bleeding process could even take as long as 6 months.
Even if your composite decking is the same colour as your cladding it will still fade more quickly. However, it will still only fade slightly and the process will eventually cease.
If you want to slow down the process of fading in your decking then consider ordering a dark colour from your composite decking supplier.
The slight fading of your composite cladding will actually give it a more natural appearance and will accentuate the wood-grain finish.
Why Does Composite Cladding Have Watermarks?
As the tannins and oils that are left over from the manufacturing process start to wash out of the cladding boards you may notice that there are watermarks left on your boards.
This is perfectly normal and usually occurs after the cladding is first exposed to rain. These watermarks will gradually disappear as the boards are exposed to periods of wet weather and then subsequently dry out again.
If you want to get rid of these marks more quickly you can wash the boards with warm, soapy water or a power washer several times and then allow them to dry.
Capped Composite Cladding
Capped composite cladding (Ecoscape only supply capped composite cladding!) is the same as normal composite cladding but the boards have an outer polymer shell that gives them even more protection against fading.
Capped cladding is also more resistant to the elements and is more likely to retain the same colour throughout its service life than uncapped cladding.
All of the boards in our range of composite cladding are capped with an extra layer of polymer to give them added durability and UV resistance.
Most composite cladding is very long-lasting but capped boards tend to have greater longevity than uncapped boards. As well as being more UV-resistant they are also more resistant to scratching, warping and cracking.
Does Wood Cladding Fade More Than Composite Cladding?
Composite cladding has many advantages over timber cladding including the fact that it’s more UV-resistant and fades less. The type of timber being used does have a fairly significant effect on how UV-resistant the cladding will be.
Untreated timber fades much more than treated timber does and also doesn’t last for as long. One common issue in untreated timber cladding is that exposure to the sun causes it to turn silver over time.
This can lead to a very noticeable colour change in the wood and to an overly weathered look that may lead you to replace the cladding.
This is one of the reasons that wood cladding has less longevity than composite cladding and also why it can be more expensive over the course of its lifespan.
Fading may not be a big issue if you paint your wood cladding as you can simply re-paint it when it begins to fade. However, one of the main reasons that people choose wood cladding is for its natural appearance.
If you paint it then you will lose some of this aesthetic appeal. When painting wood cladding it’s often best to use a dark colour to reduce the amount of fading over time.
Does Composite Cladding Need Maintenance To Prevent Fading?
As it’s made with recycled wood and plastic, composite cladding is naturally resistant to UV rays and doesn’t require any maintenance to retain this. Unlike wood cladding, you don’t need to seal, treat, paint, or stain it.
This gives composite cladding several benefits when compared to wood cladding.
- Eco-friendliness – the chemicals in many treatments, paints and stainers are harmful to the environment. Composite cladding doesn’t require the use of any of these which reduces its impact on the environment.
- Cost-effectiveness – composite cladding doesn’t need to be treated with UV-resistant products. These products are often expensive and time-consuming to apply. This means you will save money in the long term.
- Property value – as composite cladding is so low-maintenance it can actually make your home more appealing to prospective buyers. It will also increase the curb appeal of your property.
How do I clean composite cladding?
Composite cladding is very low-maintenance and only needs to be cleaned around once every 6 months. There are two ways of doing this. The first way is to use some warm water, soap, and a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any dirt from the surface.
The second way is to use a power washer to give the boards a deeper clean. The PSI of the power washer shouldn’t be higher than 3100 to avoid causing any damage to the boards.
You should also make sure that you use the fan attachment and hold the power washer at least 250mm away from the boards.
Does composite cladding provide insulation?
Adding composite cladding to your home will provide it with an effective layer of sound and heat insulation. This means that your home will be more energy efficient as less heat will escape during the winter months.
This is an excellent way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and make it more eco-friendly. It also means that you will save money on your energy bills.
The added layer of sound insulation will make the interior of your property more peaceful. It will block out the sounds of traffic and other unwanted noise pollution.
Is composite cladding more expensive than other types of cladding?
In terms of upfront costs composite cladding does tend to be more expensive than other types of cladding such as timber or UPVC. This is mainly due to the fact that its production is more labour intensive.
However, over recent years the costs of composite materials have steadily reduced and this trend is set to continue.
Composite cladding is also less expensive over the course of its lifespan due to the lack of maintenance it requires. Its amazing longevity also means it needs to be replaced less often than timber which again reduces the costs.
Why should I install cladding on my home?
There are many different reasons to install cladding on the exterior of your home. One of the reasons is that it will increase the visual appeal of your property.
For example, if the brick walls of your home are tired and weathered, cladding can serve as an attractive facade to cover this up. It will also make the structure of your home stronger and more resistant to cracking, water absorption, and chemical pollution.
Explore Ecoscape’s Amazing Range Of Composite Cladding Today
Now that you’re up to speed on the incredible UV-resistant properties of composite cladding it’s time to browse our exciting range of boards and panels.
We have some of the most affordable, high-quality products currently on the market. Our composite cladding boards are just £55.88 per square metre and our slatted boards are £76.27 per square metre.
All of our boards and panels are highly resistant to scratching, warping and fading. This makes them incredibly durable and very long-lasting. So, order your free samples or quotes today to get started on your journey.