What Are The Benefits Of Cladding?
It may not always be visible from a distance, but the vast majority of commercial buildings contain cladding in one form or another. Cladding is done by placing a material – which could be anything from brick, stone, cement or wood – over the original structure.
This is a process that has been used in construction for decades and provides a wide selection of benefits for the building. Below we go into some of the many advantages it provides to help you understand the importance of cladding and why it is an option that should always be considered.
Variety of different aesthetic options
Adding cladding to the exterior of the building provides an aesthetic choice that makes all the difference to the finished structure. Not only will it look pleasing to the eye but cladding will also add monetary value to the property once buyers come forward to express an interest. There is a multitude of cladding options available, not only in terms of colour but also for the textures of the material. This is important so it can fit in with the surrounding architecture in the area while also distinguishing the design in its own right.
For example, brick cladding can be anything from vintage, rustic and whitestone, while granite wall cladding may have a rough texture or a more polished surface. Fibre cement cladding, such as James Hardie Plank comes in 21 different colours too.
Low levels of maintenance
One of the primary reasons cladding is chosen over painting in many instances is due to the low amount of maintenance required. Whereas painted surfaces need more attention in terms of cleaning and repairing, cladded walls typically only need a scheduled wash down to keep them in great condition.
This applies across the board regardless of the cladding material. Take, for example, vinyl cladding, which is often used on buildings in America. These simply require a wash down every couple of years to ensure they remain looking like new. While using brick or stone cladding may have a more expensive up-front cost, this will ensure longer-term value as the level of maintenance required for these materials is far lower.
Protection and safeguarding of the structure
When you install cladding onto the exterior of a building you are also adding an extra layer of protection that will act as a shell to shield the material underneath. When it comes to the build-up of condensation, cladding enables this to be expelled from the interior through a ventilation system and out into the external atmosphere. This is a significant benefit to the environment inside the building, helping to ward off mould or rot that can develop over time.
Moisture from external sources, such as rain and snow, will also be prevented from getting into the structure of the building due to the cladding. Extreme changes in weather can sometimes lead to the cracking of materials, but the presence of cladding will protect the structure beneath, while also fending off high levels of sunlight and any potential chemical absorption.
Increased internal insulation
Depending on the thickness of the cladding being used, it will also offer higher levels of insulation within the building. This is not only in terms of heat but also external noise, which is particularly useful if the building is situated in a built-up, urban area. During the winter months, the extra skin on the building makes it easier to regulate temperatures and will ultimately lead to lower energy bills for the occupants.
A balance needs to be struck between the thickness of the cladding to block out external noise, and to assist the temperature within the structure. As with the aesthetics, the insulation will also add financial value to the building if the R-Value is high, so this is always worth taking into consideration.
Ecology and sustainability
Every part of a building’s construction has to take the wider environment into consideration in today’s world. The materials used should be sustainable and the environmental impact of the structure has to meet certain regulations in order to be deemed fit for purpose.
Cladding helps in this regard, helping to minimise the level of carbon dioxide emissions leaving the building. These will be emitted via the heating system and also plays into the overall improvement of the insulation of the building.
Added financial value
The initial cost of purchasing and installing cladding will be higher but the long-term value will demonstrate its worth tenfold in the long run. The extra insulation can lead to better temperature regulation inside and lower energy expenditure on an annual basis. With lower levels of maintenance required, this also means less money will need to be spent on expensive repairs which can take some time to complete.
Cladding also improves the mechanical strength of any building it is put onto, adding to the overall durability of the structure. This helps to save money on repairs in other areas of the building, making the management of budgets easier to project across the year.