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In the construction industry, the process of cladding involves coating one building material with another for reasons related to function, aesthetics or safety. There are many different materials used in cladding, including wood, plastic, imitation stone or even metal, with each of these materials offering a huge variety of options. For instance, wood cladding can range from pine and cedar to plywood sheets, and metal cladding is available in galvanised steel or aluminium.

A great way to safeguard and protect

So why use cladding in a construction project? The main reason for choosing cladding is that it adds a layer of protection to a building. Cladding actually increases the mechanical strength of any building, while offering protection from a range of elements. Buildings that incorporate cladding are more resistant to cracks caused by temperature or climate change, water absorption, sunlight and all kinds of pollution compared to non clad structures. Cladding surfaces can also offer protection from rain, humidity, mould and strong winds.

A low maintenance option

An alternative advantage of using cladding is that it results in buildings being low maintenance. Compared to a painted surface, cladding requires very little cleaning or repairing. Indeed, most cladding needs nothing more than a regular wash to keep it looking clean and fresh.

This low maintenance aspect applies no matter the material used. For instance, extruded aluminium cladding is often used for canopies, façades, roofs and column covers due to its greater stability and resilience. These features ensure a building is protected from the worst that the elements can throw at it, whilst requiring very little up-keep.

The same benefits can be found in vinyl cladding, which is common on building façades found in the United States. Made from easy-to-fit sturdy polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels, vinyl cladding needs only a power wash every couple of years to maintain it. When it does eventually need replacing, the material is easy to size, cut and install. Stone or brick cladding is an even better maintenance-free option although it can be an expensive cladding option in terms of up-front cost.

The aesthetic choice

Although the primary reasons for employing cladding in a construction project are practical, there is also an aesthetic aspect to consider. Appropriately chosen cladding can dramatically change the overall look of a building, transforming its appeal and significantly raising its market value. That’s why cladding manufacturers offer a wide variety of styles and materials. For example, granite cladding can be bought in a variety of colours and finishes, from polished through to rough, depending on the preference of the architect or builder.

There is also a huge choice when it comes to brick cladding, with the final finish ranging from white stone to a rustic style. You can also find stone cladding in an eye-catching range of colours, including cream and charcoal.

Cladding offers the benefits of low maintenance and strong protection, whilst giving your building a unique look.


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