How Green Is Composite Cladding?

If you are interested in cladding your home, then you might be wondering what materials are available to use and which ones are best.

There are, however, more aspects to consider when buying products these days. As responsible consumers, we should always opt to purchase environmentally friendly products if we have a choice, so we can reduce our carbon footprint.

Thankfully, we already know composite cladding is a great material to use for cladding due to its many benefits, but you might be wondering just how eco-friendly it is.

In this piece, we will discuss the environmental benefits of composite cladding, as well as how it compares to other cladding materials in this regard.

 

Why Is Composite Cladding Eco-Friendly?

Composite cladding is generally considered to be the most eco-friendly option when it comes to cladding, due in part to what it is made from.

Composite cladding is made from a mixture of recycled materials such as recycled wood fibres, recycled plastic, some bonding agents, and some colourants.

Our wood plastic composite (WPC) cladding is sourced using recycled wood fibres from FSC certified furniture, joinery and flooring businesses. The recycled HDPE comes from Europe, the plastic is cleaned up and turned into small recycled plastic pellets. The two along with bonding and colour agents make this high quality product.

This mixture is then heated to a very high temperature, extruded into cladding boards, embossed, and then left to cool. This shows that the process of making composite cladding is extremely energy efficient as well, as the only energy required to make the cladding boards are expended while the boards are being extruded.

The fact that composite cladding is made from recycled materials makes the material extremely eco-friendly on its own, as it reduces wood waste and plastic waste, which can have a severely negative environmental impact.

The process of making composite cladding also has a high level of sustainability, as boards can continue to be made throughout the foreseeable future, as we will always have leftover plastic and wood waste.

 

How Environmentally Friendly Is Composite Cladding When Compared To Other Cladding Materials?

While you now know just how environmentally friendly composite cladding is, you might also be interested to know how it compares to other cladding materials like timber and plastic cladding.

 

Plastic cladding

While you might think that plastic cladding would be quite environmentally friendly, you’d be wrong. Plastic cladding is mainly made from synthetic materials like polyvinyl chloride, which is a toxic plastic polymer.

Polyvinyl chloride has a negative impact on the environment, as pollution is emitted during the production process that is released into the surrounding air, water, and land areas.

The finished product is slightly more eco-friendly in terms of future resource use, as plastic cladding also does not need to be repainted, varnished, or treated in any other way after it has been installed.

It is similar to composite cladding in this regard, but the production process is still very toxic to the environment, and plastic cladding boards cannot be recycled; they can only be incinerated or dumped at a landfill.

 

Wood cladding

Timber cladding may seem environmentally friendly, as it is made from real wood and is a natural product. The problem comes in when you realise how timber cladding is sourced.

The timber industry causes serious deforestation, as more and more trees need to be cut down to meet the demands of consumers. The monocultures these trees are often from destroy a lot of fauna and flora.

Timber also needs to be transported from wherever it has been cut down so that it can receive treatment. Transporting timber uses a lot of fossil fuels, as it needs to be carried by truck or boat long distances to reach its destination.

Timber also needs to be treated to help it last longer; if it is not varnished, painted, and oiled a few times a year, then it can begin to warp, crack, splinter, rot, or become infested by insects.

These maintenance products can sometimes be extremely harmful to the environment both in the manufacturing process and when applying them to the timber.

A benefit of timber cladding is the fact that it can be recycled without too much of a hassle once it has reached the end of its lifespan.

 

Composite cladding

As we have already mentioned above, the recycled materials used to make composite cladding boards already make the material quite eco-friendly, but there are also some other reasons it is environmentally friendly.

The inclusion of plastic in the composite mixture means that it is incredibly low maintenance and does not need to be painted, stained, sealed, or oiled. This will not only save you money but also save the environment slightly, as you will not be treating your cladding with any toxic materials.

While some composite cladding boards are not recyclable, there are many composite cladding brands that are. You should always check with your manufacturer if this is the case before you make your purchase or dispose of any old composite cladding that you have.

 

Why You Should Choose Composite Cladding Over Other Materials

Besides the fact that composite cladding is the most eco-friendly option when it comes to cladding materials, it is also a great option for some other reasons.

 

Benefits of composite cladding

Composite cladding is incredibly durable and will last for years if you look after it. Looking after it also only means cleaning it with a pressure washer with the pressure set to low or using a soft-bristled brush, some warm soapy water, and some elbow grease. We offer a 25 year guarantee on all our Forma cladding products.

Composite cladding is scratch resistant, fade resistant, mould resistant, and insect resistant. It is also incredibly versatile and can be made to look like real wood.

Ecoscape also offers a wide range of colours to choose from, so you’ll be able to choose a colour that you think will look most like real wood. We have colours that emulate Western Red Cedar, Burnt Larch and Cedar Slatted cladding.

Both our cladding profiles use hidden cladding clips every 500mm on each batten, allowing you to fix the board but without directly fixing through the composite cladding board. This allows the board to expand and contract which prevents buckling, warping and splitting which you may get with timber cladding products.

It can also offer an extra layer of protection that will stand between your home and the elements. This can extend the lifespan of many different aspects of your home.

 

FAQS

Does composite cladding warp?

No, composite cladding will not warp, but it will expand and contract when it is very hot or cold.

This is nothing to worry about, though, if it is installed properly, as there will be big enough spaces (expansion gaps) left between boards to allow for expansion.

 

How long does composite cladding last?

Composite cladding can last for up to 50 years if it is looked after properly. While manufacturers like Ecoscape offer 25-year warranties, it is entirely possible that your composite cladding could last much longer than this.

 

Does composite cladding need ventilation?

Yes, composite cladding does need ventilation; otherwise, it will not have enough room to dry out or cause mould on the exterior walls of your home. This could lead to your composite cladding deteriorating much more quickly.

 

Final Thoughts

Our composite cladding is not just a great way to make your home look stylish and protect it against the different elements (which is quite sustainable in itself), but it is also a very green alternative to other cladding materials, based on how it has been manufactured.

Get yourself our Ecoscape composite cladding to improve the sustainability rating of your home while giving it a more contemporary façade in the process!

Gary is the founder and CEO of Ecoscape UK. Gary graduated from Liverpool JM University in 2007 with a 2:1 in Economics. A passion for innovation, design and sustainability, Gary has put to market numerous wpc products/systems, some of which have UK and European registered designs. Outside of work Gary enjoys spending time with his family, the great outdoors and watching Manchester United.

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