If you want to protect your house’s exterior wall against the impacts of extreme weather, adding cladding material to your outside walls can be a very practical way to do so.
But different cladding materials have different properties and vary in how weather resistant they are. This basically means that depending on the exterior you are choosing, your house is going to be protected only to a certain degree.
Therefore, understanding which material is the most weatherproof should be one of your priorities when looking at cladding for your home.
In this article, we will focus on wood-plastic composite cladding and its weather-resistant properties and will provide some further useful insights on this specific cladding material.
What is Cladding?
Cladding is basically an extra outer layer of protection that you add to an exterior wall of your home, usually the one that is impacted the most by extreme weather, or all of them – depending on your budget and personal preference.
There is a relatively wide range of cladding materials out there. You can choose between traditional timber cladding, aluminium cladding, UPVC cladding material or – in our case – composite cladding.
The performance varies as much as the materials vary from one another. Each has material its own properties, warranties and disadvantages as well as price.
What is Composite Cladding?
Composite cladding is quite new to the market and is quite an innovative take on your traditional cladding material. Thanks to the novelty of the product, it is a very efficient and low-maintenance material that has become increasingly popular for a multitude of outdoor building projects.
Composite cladding can be used for a range of outdoor projects, whether it is for your exterior walls, your garden room, or a whole commercial building facade.
Composite is usually made out of recycled materials, such as polyethene, which can be found in plastic bottles, bags or other items, and is then mixed with reclaimed wood fibres. This makes it a very durable material that also comes in a wide range of colours and styles. For instance, you can go for a classic wood-inspired finish, or you can choose more contemporary grey cladding boards for your home’s exterior wall.
How Resistant is Composite Cladding To The Weather?
Composite cladding is manufactured in such a way that the plastic elements are bound to the wood fibres through extreme pressure handling. The material that is the outcome of this process then gets coated with a particular polymer outer layer, making it very resistant to almost any weather conditions. (capped products).
Due to the materials used, it is extremely lightweight, and can therefore be mounted onto nearly any exterior wall, while still being very durable.
When installing alternative materials such as timber cladding, you will always have a certain element of susceptibility to certain weather conditions, specifically heavy rainfall or extreme temperatures, which will make the timber warp or even crack. This is highly unlikely to occur when installing composite cladding.
All of the above makes composite cladding waterproof and also extremely weatherproof and will serve you well in protecting your home against the influence of the elements.
In the following, we will take a closer look at how composite cladding can resist the different impacts created by (extreme) weather.
By this point, you are probably wondering: “is composite cladding waterproof”“? And the answer is yes!
Capped composite cladding is waterproof and highly resistant to any form of moisture absorption. The outermost layer of some composite boards is treated with a polymer layer, which means that if water ends up on your cladding material, it is not going to be absorbed and will instead just run off.
This is a very effective way to protect your house walls against moisture and ultimately achieves that the composite cladding material does not warp due to water absorption. The fact that composite cladding is waterproof will also protect it from rot, which is very common when choosing wood or timber cladding, for instance. We do recommend using a water barrier membrane underneath your cladding battens before installing your composite cladding boards.
Composite cladding is installed with a specific tongue and groove locking mechanism, which means that the boards are extremely secure and will be highly resistant to high winds and the impact of storms.
The last thing you want is for your cladding boards to be ripped off your walls by a hefty storm, potentially causing more damage to your exterior walls than actually protecting them because of the way they have been mounted. All our cladding boards have technical testing.
This mechanism will give your cladding boards enough flexibility to move under strong winds but won’t give in or pull loose during a storm.
Traditional timber cladding always runs the risk of cracking when exposed to heavy winds, which is definitely not preferable with a material that is supposed to protect your home.
On top of that, this mechanism makes composite cladding easy to install and will also allow for the easy removal and replacement of a board if need be.
While extremely hot weather and intense sun can easily dry out timber cladding and sometimes even have a melting effect on artificial materials, composite cladding is an extremely heat resistant material that will not warp, crack or melt during extremely hot weather.
Apart from being able to withstand high temperatures, composite cladding is also highly UV resistant and will not lose its finish due to intense sun exposure. Whereas timber cladding can easily fade and will make your property look less attractive and potentially even affect the resale value of your house negatively if it needs to be repainted every year.
Ice & Frost
Certain materials such as bricks, mortar or concrete are extremely susceptible to frost and icy weather conditions and might crack or break if the moisture inside the material freezes and melts constantly. The same effect can sometimes be witnessed with timber cladding or any other wood cladding.
Composite cladding, on the other hand, is extremely resistant to ice and will not let any moisture into the material and protect your home thanks to the extremely high insulation properties of the material.
Composite cladding boards are therefore popular for homes that are exposed to high temperatures in summer and very low temperatures in winter, as your interior will not be affected by the temperatures as much and be able to remain at a stable temperature all year round.
Thanks to being treated under extreme pressure and to the polymer outer layer, our composite cladding is also highly resistant to damage from hail or icy rain. Aluminium cladding on the other side might easily get damaged and warped if hit with heavy hailstorms.
Here is some further note-worthy information regarding composite cladding boards and why they are a better option compared to timber cladding or wood cladding.
Does composite cladding fade in colour?
If exposed to extreme sunshine and UV rays, the colour of timber cladding boards can fade relatively quickly and require a regular paint job. Most timber cladding will turn grey after several years of sun and rain exposure, which might even affect the resale value, but definitely affect the look of your home quite dramatically.
Therefore, if you don’t want to miss out on the wood-inspired look of your home, going with composite cladding that comes with a wood finish is your best bet and will be much more efficient when it comes to the style and the weatherproof properties!
Thanks to our innovative colour technology, 0ur cladding boards are made with high resistance to UV rays and can therefore withstand extreme exposure to the sun for 20 to 25 years, depending on the range you are going for. This will provide you with a long-lasting colour stability effect.
My composite cladding is showing watermarks; what should I do?
Generally, composite cladding is highly waterproof and will never wash out or fade. Some material, however, is made with tannins (First generation composite which Ecoscape don’t supply), which can get washed out from heavy rainfall, especially if your composite boards have been installed during a dry period.
Generally, these watermarks should disappear within several month time, however, and not leave a constant stain on your boards.
What are the benefits of Composite Cladding?
If you install composite cladding, it can offer several advantages for your home:
- Optimal insulation for your home
- Protection from high winds and any other elements
- Low maintenance compared to wood or any other cladding boards
- Will not rot & no moisture absorption
- Gives a stylish and more contemporary finish to any building
- Easy to install
On top of that, composite material is extremely multifunctional and can be used for other outdoor projects such as fencing, decking and building balustrades.
Is composite cladding environmentally-friendly?
Yes, thanks to the material being combined out of 95% recycled plastic and reclaimed FSC-certified wood, composite cladding is a lot more environmentally friendly than wood cladding or any other cladding boards available on the market.
FSC-certified timber means that the recycled wood that is used for the cladding boards comes from sustainable sources and has a lower carbon footprint than other wood or timber materials.
If you want to protect your building against the elements, going with a product that is waterproof and weatherproof is definitely your best bet when it comes to cladding options.
While timber cladding is definitely the more traditional option when it comes to cladding boards, you will find that composite cladding offers a lot more weatherproof properties.
On top of that, if you really want to go for that wood cladding look, you can go for composite material with a wood finish, so you don’t have to forgo your timber cladding look!
Our composite cladding is made from extremely durable material and has an additional outer shell made from polymer, meaning that you will have a long-lasting product that will protect your home against all weather conditions for years to come.
Get yourself a free sample of our Ecoscape composite cladding materials today and discover how to efficiently weatherproof your home while not losing out on a stylish exterior!