Any improvements you plan to make to your property must be properly investigated, and this is especially true when installing cladding.
Cladding provides a number of benefits for buildings, including protecting the materials it covers, increasing insulation, and improving aesthetics.
Selecting the right cladding materials will have a significant bearing on the longevity of the work carried out, how much maintenance it requires, and how durable it is.
This guide will explore the benefits that make composite cladding an excellent alternative to real timber cladding.
What is Composite Cladding?
Cladding products are used in the construction industry to cover the exterior of buildings, protecting the materials beneath.
There are many options when searching for the most suitable cladding material, including natural timber, concrete, slate, stone, PVCu plastic, and composite.
Composite materials are made by combining wood fibres with plastic and a bonding agent before moulding them into shape.
Wood plastic composite is perfect for outdoor use in the UK because of its hardwearing, durable qualities.
Composite decking, fencing and cladding are popular choices in the UK, and Ecoscape offers an excellent option for consumers.
Ecoscape capped composite cladding boards are made using a reclaimed wood fibre and recycled plastic.
The co-extrusion process used by Ecoscape sees the board core coated with a durable membrane that offers additional protection against stains, scuffs, scrapes, and fading.
Composite Cladding Benefits
Wood plastic composite cladding products are a great investment for a number of reasons. If you are looking for timber alternatives, you will struggle to find a more suitable building material for the UK climate.
The following examples will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about investing in the composite cladding.
Long Life Expectancy
One of the biggest selling points for composite cladding is its longevity. Ecoscape composite cladding has an incredible warranty of 25 years, making it a great choice that will give you peace of mind.
The installation of high-quality wood composite cladding is an important process. Following the supplier’s installation guide and using the accessories provided is essential. Failure to use the correct procedures and equipment can void a warranty and impact the performance and lifespan of your cladding.
Another significant factor in the popularity of composite cladding is that it needs minimal maintenance to stay looking great.
When you compare it to the maintenance required for softwood cladding, there is a big difference.
Softwood cladding requires treatments to prevent rot or being attacked by wood-boring insects. Weatherproofing softwood cladding minimises moisture absorption in wet weather, and you will also have to paint or stain it regularly.
Composite alternatives reduce the need for regular maintenance, allowing you to cut maintenance costs and the inconvenience of having to carry out the work.
Cleaning composite cladding material is easy. Ensuring it is free from dirt or debris will minimise the risk of mould and mildew developing in moist conditions.
Washing with a soft bristle brush or sponge and warm soapy water will typically be enough.
Occasional deep cleaning composite cladding boards may be necessary, and you can do this with a power washer.
Using a power washer on composite materials is possible if you take care. Use a fan spray, hold it a good distance from the board, and use lower pressure.
1,500 PSI is usually adequate for cleaning composite cladding without damaging it. You should be able to refer to the supplier guidelines for further information.
One of the main reasons consumers might opt for soft or hardwood cladding is because of its great appearance. Natural timber is an aesthetically pleasing material that can also be painted and stained depending on the colour scheme of the property.
Composite cladding is also available in a range of styles to suit preferences.
Ecoscape offers two high-quality capped composite cladding board types.
Ecoscape’s panel cladding range offers a flat, brushed finish in a range of colours, including; midnight, flint, argent, spiced oak, Havana, and silver birch.
The slatted composite range by Ecoscape has a ridged appearance with a brushed finish and is available in silver birch, midnight, and spiced oak colours.
Installation of Ecoscape composite cladding boards is simple. The specially designed aluminium cladding clips are created to allow thermal expansion and contraction without warping or twisting.
The Ecoscape installation guide provides a breakdown of the tools required to carry out the installation of your capped composite cladding, as well as a guide on how to calculate the material you will need.
You will be provided with details of the components and accessories that come and details of how to install the product.
The expansion gap table ensures you won’t place the boards too closely together, and you are even provided with aftercare and cleaning advice.
Composite cladding is an extremely durable option. Even with the extensive maintenance requirements necessary, timber composite is not as hardwearing.
Capped composite offers additional protection to the core, and you will find excellent scuff, stain, and scratch resistance.
The weatherproof materials won’t absorb moisture, crack, splinter, or warp in hot weather like timber.
Cladding can also be susceptible to fading in direct sunlight. Ecoscape’s composite cladding comes with a 25-year colour warranty.
Choosing Ecoscape capped composite cladding boards is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to clad a property.
The wood fibres used in Ecoscape composite products are made up of sawdust and wood chips, sourced from ethical and sustainable suppliers and saved from landfills.
Ecoscape recycles thousands of tons of plastic to use in high-quality composite products, minimising waste and reducing the need for plastic production.
The high-performance cladding boards provide great insulation for houses, minimising energy waste and heat loss in the home and reducing energy bills.
All of these reasons position Ecoscape capped composite cladding boards as an excellent option for anyone interested in cladding products.
Ecoscape Composite Cladding
Ecoscape capped composite cladding is an excellent alternative to timber.
The panel range is available in 3,600 mm long boards that have a width of 142 mm and a thickness of 13 mm. They weigh 2.23 kg per meter and have a flat, brushed appearance.
The core is the same as the Ecoscape Forma deck, which comprises 45% recycled High-Density Polyethylene and 55% reclaimed wood fibres.
The high-quality cladding boards are then given further protection and durability during the co-extrusion process, where they are coated in HDPE.
The 1 mm thick membrane offers additional protection from stains, scratches, scuffs, and fading.
Boards come with a 25-year colour warranty that matches the 25-year product warranty.
The slatted cladding boards have all the same qualities that the panel range does, and the main difference is the appearance.
Where the panel range is flat, the slatted range has a ridged appearance.
The cladding boards are available in 2,500 mm and 3,600 lengths and are 121 mm wide and 25 mm thick. Slatted cladding boards are lighter than the panel range at 1.82 kg per meter.
How much does composite cladding cost?
Ecoscape capped composite panel cladding boards cost £55.88 per square meter, and the slatted capped composite boards cost £76.27 per square meter.
Prices will change depending on the quality of the product and the supplier.
The average cost of softwood timber cladding is typically around £50 per square meter, with the more hardwearing and long-lasting hardwood options costing around £105 per square meter.
Can composite cladding warp?
Yes, composite cladding can warp. The good news is that if it is properly installed, it won’t. Unlike timber cladding, composite won’t warp because of direct sunlight. What causes composite cladding to warp is pushing against other materials during thermal expansion.
Composite materials expand and subtract at different temperatures. If the cladding board is placed too close to other boards or hard surfaces, it will push against it and warp.
Screwing directly through composite boards also causes this as the board can’t move with its natural expansion.
The Ecoscape hidden clip system allows you to securely attach cladding boards without screwing through them. They will be held by the clip, which allows them to expand and contract.
How much does composite cladding installation cost?
The cost of installation will vary depending on many factors. The size of the area to be clad, the material the cladding is being installed over, and your location will all affect the cost.
Installation costs in the UK will typically run at around £200 per day. This will depend on the experience and location of the workers, with central London services costing significantly more than rural costs.
Installing composite cladding yourself is possible with the right experience. The installation guide provided by your supplier will make it an easier job.
Can composite cladding be painted?
Composite cladding can be painted, but it is not usually necessary. Ecoscape composite cladding comes with a 25-year colour guarantee, ensuring the material you install maintains an impressive appearance.
Should you decide that a colour change is needed, you will be able to paint using acrylic latex enamel after cleaning and priming the area.
Composite cladding is an excellent option for UK properties because it can cope with all kinds of weather and looks great.
The maintenance required for timber cladding, compared to composite, makes it an option that requires time and money to be dedicated to it.
Regularly treating and maintaining timber cladding will incur costs in materials and take a lot of time. In comparison, composite cladding requires very little care after installation.
Cleaning composite cladding is straightforward and will help to maintain its performance and longevity.
There is an excellent choice of colours and finishes available for anyone interested in composite cladding, and its eco-friendly credentials are also impressive.
The impressive life expectancy of composite cladding is reflected in the long warranties offered. Ecoscape’s 25-year warranty gives consumers peace of mind, knowing they have invested in a high-quality product that will last a long time.