Adding wall cladding to your house is a great way to add a more contemporary look while also creating a protective layer for your exterior walls and potentially even increasing the resale value of your property.
When installing composite cladding to your house’s exterior walls, there are definitely some very important variables to consider which go way beyond the colours or style you are going for.
For instance, take into consideration the durability of your materials and whether or not warping occurs, which might eventually damage the structure of your cladding.
In this article, we will explain the concept of warping and whether or not composite wall cladding is prone to warping.
What Is Warping?
Warping occurs when materials bend out of shape. As the material gets distorted, it loses structure and eventually gets damaged.
Warping is caused if any material, like a composite board, absorbs moisture or is exposed to extreme temperature changes.
Timber cladding is specifically prone to absorbing moisture and is also not resistant to temperature changes, which makes this material very prone to warping and distorting in shape. Wood cladding material is therefore at higher risk of cracking unless it is maintained regularly through sealing and painting.
What is Composite Cladding?
Composite cladding is a contemporary solution to traditional timber cladding or other cladding materials such as aluminium or UPVC. It has become very popular in recent years due to a plethora of benefits that it provides in comparison to other materials.
Composite cladding is made of polyethene from recycled plastic material and reclaimed wood fibre from recycled wood materials. Because of this composition and the way the material has been treated, composite cladding is very resistant to moisture.
Does Composite Warp?
Because the material is of high synthetic nature, composite cladding does not warp like wood cladding or timber cladding boards would.
Capped composite cladding has a polymer outer layer, it is highly water resistant and cannot absorb moisture, which stops it from warping, breaking, rotting or causing splinters, unlike traditional timber cladding. This extremely high level of durability distinguishes composite cladding from timber or other cladding material.
One important thing to remember, however, is that composite cladding can still expand due to high temperatures (thermal expansion), but it does so only slightly, and this form of movement will not cause warping in your composite wall cladding at all.
However, if your composite boards have not been installed correctly, it could eventually cause them to warp.
How To Install Composite Cladding Correctly
In order to be 100% sure that your composite wall cladding is protected from warping and getting damaged, it is important to install your composite cladding boards correctly.
- Ensuring that there is enough room between your composite cladding boards is essential. The gap that you are supposed to leave between the materials in order to allow them to expand without getting warped is called an extension gap and is usually between 3 and 6 millimetres wide. This depends on the manufacturer, however.
- Note that this expansion gap also applies to your composite decking boards, as it does not only allow for your boards to expand safely, without warping, but it also lets any excess water run off, which prevents rotting and damage to the material.
- Get yourself the right tools. You will need a spirit level, drill, gloves and saw as well as some nails and screws.
- Install battens between the exterior wall and the wall cladding so that no moisture is trapped between your composite wall cladding and your house, potentially causing rot and damage to your walls.
- On top of that, the battens allow for your composite boards to be able to expand towards your house’s wall as well, which will prevent it even more from warping.
- The most important factor to prevent warping, cracking or splitting is to make sure you fix the composite cladding with a hidden cladding clip – Our cladding clips fix the cladding board albeit allowing the board to move freely (expand and contract), some systems require you to screw through the board – this is not good practice. Wood plastic expands and contracts and the cladding clip helps with this.
Here are some further facts about composite cladding.
What are the benefits of composite cladding?
Composite cladding has become a preferred option for most homeowners when it comes to wall cladding because it has many benefits compared to wood cladding or other cladding materials:
- Because it is made from recycled plastic and reclaimed FSC-certified wood fibre, composite cladding is extremely eco-friendly.
- Ecoscape Forma composite cladding range comes with a 25 year warranty, UV and stain and scratch resistant guaranteed.
- Composite cladding is not as prone to damage as wood cladding and is water and weather-resistant.
- Composite cladding offers a wide range of colours and finishes.
- The material is extremely low maintenance and very durable throughout almost any condition.
How long does composite cladding last?
Depending on which range of composite materials you choose, you are looking at about 20 to 25 years of warranty.
The mix of wood and plastic, which is treated under a lot of pressure and sealed with a polymer layer, guarantees to be not only low maintenance but also rot, splinter, and fade-resistant. (Capped composite cladding).
Can I install cladding made of composite myself?
Yes, you can. Unlike wood cladding, composite cladding is extremely easy to be installed in a DIY manner, and you do not need to be a carpenter to understand the process.
Visit our website and get inspired by the various composite cladding ranges, and have a look at the plethora of installation examples to get an idea of how your new composite cladding project can look!
Choosing composite cladding for your outdoor space is an efficient alternative to wood cladding as it will prevent you from having to exchange your cladding boards or extensively treating them with sanding and sealing sessions every year.
Select Ecoscape’s composite wall cladding and choose from a wide range of finishes which will provide you with the same visual appearance as traditional wood cladding but, unlike wood, comes with excellent performance benefits and minimal maintenance!