Composite cladding can be a great way to protect a building. Property owners can also benefit from additional insulation and improve the external appearance of buildings.
There are many cladding materials that you can choose from, including uPVC, timber, aluminium, stone, and composite.
Composite cladding offers a great many benefits, which this guide will explore. We will also explore painting options for composite cladding.
What is Cladding Used For?
Applying a protective building material over another is known as cladding in the construction industry.
Cladding systems are designed to protect buildings from wind, mould, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.
Protection from exposure to moisture can help prolong the life of the material beneath and ensure the structural integrity of the building.
Cladding can also be used to change and improve the aesthetic of a building. Different materials, colours, and textures are used by architects and designers to change the appearance of buildings.
What is Cladding Made From?
Composite cladding is made from a combination of wood fibres, plastics, and a bonding agent.
Ecoscape composite cladding has a core created from 45% recycled High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), and 55% reclaimed wood fibres.
Ecoscape also uses a state-of-the-art co-extrusion technique that covers the core with a 1mm thick capping of HDPE.
Capped composite cladding offers additional durability, weatherproofing, and protection.
The long-lasting 25-year product warranty and 25-year colour warranty protect property owners that install Ecoscape composite cladding correctly.
Can You Paint Composite Cladding?
One of the major benefits of composite cladding is that it needs minimal maintenance compared to traditional timber cladding.
The high-quality plastic wood material is available in the same colour as Ecoscape composite decking, making it easy for you to create an excellent colour scheme.
The long colour warranty that comes with Ecoscape composite cladding means that you won’t have to paint or stain it.
Composite cladding does not need to be painted, and depending on the supplier, it may invalidate a warranty.
If you plan to paint composite decking, you should always check with the supplier and the terms of your warranty.
The Best Paint Options for Composite Cladding
In some cases, you might want to paint composite cladding. If you are changing the colour scheme and the existing colour clashes, this might be a better option than replacing it.
If you do choose to paint your composite cladding a new colour, ensuring you choose the right paint is important.
The manufacturer’s recommendations should always be adhered to, and safety equipment should be used.
An acrylic latex primer should be used before applying an acrylic latex enamel paint when applying it to exterior composite cladding.
How to Paint Composite Cladding
Painting composite cladding should always be done in a well-ventilated area.
Wearing gloves and eye protection is an important part of working with paints, solvents, or bleaches, and a dust mask is also important.
Before you prime the area, it should be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, debris, mould, or grime. You will be able to use a power washer to clean the composite cladding.
Whether you are using a power washer to clean composite decking or cladding, you should always check the supplier’s advice on the pressure that can be used.
A low pressure that does not exceed 1,500 PSI should be used. A fan tip should be used, and the jet should not be held too close to the cladding.
If possible, test it on spare composite cladding; you might have to ensure it does not mark it. This is also a great way to test cleaners.
A fan nozzle should be used, and the spray should go down each individual board with the grain. This will minimise the risk of marking the boards.
After the composite cladding has completely dried out, use a roller to apply the acrylic latex primer to each board. You can use a paintbrush for the more difficult-to-reach areas.
It would help if you allowed adequate time for the primer to dry out completely. You will then be able to use your acrylic latex enamel to paint the cladding.
Drying times will vary depending on the climate, but you should typically allow around two hours for the cladding to dry after cleaning, two hours for the primer to dry, and four hours for the acrylic latex enamel to dry.
Ecoscape Composite Cladding Options
Ecoscape offers two excellent cladding options, panel cladding and slatted cladding boards.
Ecoscape panel-capped composite cladding boards are available with a brushed finish. The 3,600 mm boards are 13 mm thick and 142 mm wide.
Boards are available in a wide range of colours, including; midnight, argent, flint, silver birch, spiced oak and Havana.
Ecoscape slatted capped composite cladding boards have a rebated slatted batten finish and are available in 2,500 mm and 3,600 mm lengths. The boards are 121 mm wide and 25 mm thick.
The slatted range is available in midnight, silver birch, and spiced oak colours and is a lighter option than the panel boards that weigh 2.23 kg per meter, at 182 kg per meter.
Both options have a 25-year warranty and a 25-year colour warranty. While no composite cladding options are completely fade-proof, the testing carried out ensures there is not a high level of fading from weathering or UV rays on the Hunter scale.
The boards are easy to install and have a great hidden fixing system to improve the finish.
The hardwearing and durable composite boards are stain and scratch resistant and won’t warp or split like traditional timber cladding options.
The low-maintenance boards are significantly easier to care for than timber, and cleaning with warm, soapy water or a power washer is typically sufficient.
Visit the dedicated Ecoscape capped composite panel cladding board page or capped composite slatted cladding board pages, where you will be able to explore the technical specifications, view the installation guide, and get further information on the products.
How much does composite cladding cost?
The cost of composite cladding will vary depending on the quality and supplier. Your budget will dictate how much you can spend on composite cladding, but investing in boards of high quality will ensure better performance and a longer life expectancy.
Ecoscape capped composite panel cladding boards cost £55.88 per square meter.
Ecoscape slatted composite panel cladding boards cost £76.27 per square meter.
Both Ecoscape ranges offer a long-lasting, durable option, and the cost of a project will depend on the size of the area that needs to be covered.
Is composite cladding worth it?
Yes, composite cladding is an excellent option that offers great protection to the materials beneath.
Ecoscape composite cladding is easy to maintain and install, and the long warranty guarantees properly installed cladding will last a long time.
The 25-year colour guarantee on Ecoscape composite cladding ranges ensures the boards maintain a great appearance. Fading will be minimal, and staining or painting the boards is not necessary.
Does composite cladding need a gap behind it?
Yes, a cavity behind the cladding is to allow air circulation behind the boards.
Allowing a moisture gap of around 20 mm between the property wall and cladding boards helps to prevent moisture from building up, compromising the cladding and the home’s exterior wall.
Composite cladding should also have an expansion gap to allow for any growth in warm weather.
Following the supplier installation guide will advise on how to properly plan to install your composite cladding. Failure to follow the supplier’s installation guide or use the accessories provided can result in your warranty being voided or the cladding not lasting as long.
How do you maintain composite cladding?
Composite cladding is easy to maintain in comparison to other cladding materials.
Composite cladding doesn’t need to be treated to protect it against the weather, rot, or wood-boring insects. This will save a lot of time and money for property owners.
Composite cladding should be kept clean, and using a soft bristle brush and warm, soapy water to clean it will help to remove dirt.
Using a jet washer to give boards a deeper clean is also possible, but all measures should be taken to ensure you can do this safely without marking the boards.
You should avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals when cleaning composite materials.
Is composite cladding eco-friendly?
Ecoscape composite cladding is an excellent eco-friendly choice that can help to protect your property.
The composite cladding Ecoscape manufactures 95% recycled materials, including wood fibres that would be landfilled otherwise.
Using recycled plastics in the production process also minimises the need for new plastic production.
In 2021, Ecoscape recycled 4495 tons of plastic when creating its high-quality composite products.
Using composite cladding also improves the efficiency of homes by adding an additional layer of insulation. Increased energy efficiency will help to reduce your carbon footprint and can even reduce energy bills.
Composite materials are perfectly suited for use in UK gardens and properties. Composite fencing, decking, and cladding are long-lasting, durable, and easy to maintain.
Whether you are looking for a traditional look, or something more contemporary, there is a wide range of styles and colours available.
Composite cladding does not require stain, treatments, or paint, but if you are looking for a colour change, painting is an option.
Painting the exterior surface of a building, including composite cladding, can freshen up a home and completely change the aesthetic.
Composite materials offer a long-lasting option that doesn’t succumb to the elements like other natural products do.
If you are considering investing in composite cladding, you will get peace of mind by investing in high-quality products with long warranties.
If you have moved into a property that already has composite cladding and you don’t like the colour, painting it is an option and is relatively straightforward.
You won’t have to sand the already smooth surface. Just clean, and ensure you follow the expert advice this guide provides.