Composite cladding boards can be expensive, so you’ll want to make sure that you are installing them correctly the first time, or you could risk damaging them.
High-quality composite cladding boards that are looked after and installed properly can last for many years, and they can also give your home a fresh look that can add value to it.
Having your composite boards installed professionally can make this process much easier for you and can save you a lot of time and effort. It will generally also ensure that your composite cladding is installed properly, which will make it last longer.
You could also install your composite cladding yourself if you are well-versed in the art of DIY, but you should be careful, as there are some major do’s and don’ts when it comes to installing composite cladding.
Screwing Down Composite Cladding Boards
You might think that you’d easily be able to screw holes into your composite cladding without any consequences, but, unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
While timber cladding and other timber products are often screwed into, this is due to the fact that they are not made from a composite wood mixture.
Screwing into your composite cladding yourself may also seem like the cheaper and easier option when it comes to installing your cladding, as screws are cheap, and the process is quick and easy.
Screws are also a great way to secure many things, such as painting hooks, curtain rails, and door hinges; however, once again, composite materials are different from wood, cement, and concrete.
They do make composite screws that are designed with composite materials in mind; however, there are still a number of drawbacks to using screws.
Why You Should Not Screw Down Composite Cladding Boards
As mentioned above, while screwing into your composite cladding boards may seem like a quick, cheap way to install your composite cladding, the products are generally not designed to be screwed into, so you could run into some complications.
It can void your warranty
Our composite cladding boards are generally not designed to be screwed into due to the way the composite mixture is made. Wood Plastic Composite is made using wood fibres, recycled plastic, bonding agents, and some colourants.
This mixture is then heated and extruded into board shapes, embossed, and then cooled. This means that composite cladding boards are made with a mould, so their shape is generally not meant to be compromised by screws.
If you screw into your composite cladding boards, you could end up damaging them. If this is the case, our warranty will generally not cover you, as this is not the way that Ecoscape intended for our products to be installed.
Instead, we will supply you with hidden fasteners (that they call hidden cladding clips), the boards are installed and fixed every 500mm, the benefits of using the cladding clip is the clip allows expansion and contraction of the cladding board as you’re not directly screwing through it. Please see our cladding installation guide for further details.
These fasteners are specifically designed to work with the supplied products, so composite screws will be a waste of both your time and your money.
It can damage your cladding boards
Composite cladding is made from a mould, as mentioned above, so screwing into them could cause them to crack or weaken.
Screwing into your composite cladding will make your boards unable to expand and contract as effectively, which is what composite cladding does when exposed to hot or cold weather.
If the composite boards are unable to expand and contract, it could cause them to push against one another, which could eventually damage the structural integrity of the entire area that you have cladded.
Composite cladding is supposed to be low maintenance, but screwing into it can be an expensive and time-consuming mistake to make.
Alternative Fastening Methods
As already stated above, there is often no need to even worry about buying composite screws when installing your composite cladding, as Ecoscape will provide you with all of the materials you will need to fasten your cladding.
We also recommend fixing your cladding to your joists in this way.
Cladding starter bar helps to secure your composite cladding boards to your joists, will make your outer cladding boards stable and secure.
Hidden fasteners (called hidden cladding clips by Ecoscape) are the best way to secure your cladding boards, as these clips are specifically designed to secure your boards to your joists.
Here are some of the benefits that hidden cladding clips have over composite screws.
- They will be tailor-made for your specific cladding boards, which should guarantee a secure fit.
- Clips give your cladding boards some room to breathe, so they will be able to expand and contract without any issues.
- Hidden fasteners are also hidden from view, as their name suggests, so they also provide a much cleaner, sleeker look.
- Clips will prevent your cladding from warping or cracking, as they will not damage the integrity of your composite boards.
- Hidden fasteners also include spacers that make it easy for you to space your cladding boards out properly, so they have enough room to allow moisture to pass through instead of it causing your cladding to deteriorate sooner. The spacers also allow for expansion and contraction.
What is the best way to screw into composite material?
If you insist on using screws to secure your composite cladding or decking, then you should consider pre-drilling your holes, as pre-drilled holes have less of a chance of damaging your composite cladding.
If you don’t pre-drill holes, you have a higher chance of cracking or damaging your composite cladding boards.
What screws should I use for my composite cladding?
If you are going to screw into your composite cladding, then you should use stainless steel screws or composite screws, as these screw head types won’t be susceptible to corrosion if they are exposed to the elements for an extended period of time.
What does composite cladding help with?
Composite cladding can protect any building from damage that could be caused by UV rays, temperature fluctuations, mould, and strong winds. It also offers extra insulation and is almost an entirely eco-friendly material.
Using screws for the installation of your composite cladding can cause unnecessary damage to it, which is why it is often recommended that consumers use the fixings that your chosen manufacturer has supplied.
Luckily, our composite cladding at Ecoscape comes with all the necessary materials to install your cladding securely and easily without the need to screw any holes into your boards. This will not only improve the durability of your composite cladding but will also save you money in the long run and save you from possibly voiding your warranty with us.