Updated: May 6, 2020
As property investors and contractors alike continue to look for opportunities to renovate and retrofit aging buildings, cladding has once again become a vital part of the construction tool belt. While this time-honored technique has long been acknowledged for the streamlined, modern aesthetics it brings to a variety of structures, it’s only recently that the full range of benefits provided by cladding have begun to be appreciated.
Functions of Cladding
+As a Safeguard
Cladding serves as an effective barrier against all manner of external conditions. Generally, extreme fluctuations in temperature can lead to cracking in building facades -- cladding prevents this eventuality. It also reduces water absorption in periods of heavy rain, damage from direct sunlight and mold from damp conditions.
Modern composite cladding options have a strong resistance to heat flow which, in many climates, can eliminate the need for insulation between wall frames altogether. In cases where cladding is used to serve as a primary insulator, contractors will generally look to produce an “airtight” seal by applying cladding over every external surface, greatly minimizing air leakage in the process. Certain high-mass/high thickness insulation systems can also provide effective sound insulation in structures.
To Improve Aesthetics
Cladding is available in a range of colors, styles, textures and patterns, allowing designers a blank canvas to exercise their wildest impulses. The array of choices can be customized to best suit the climate and environment of a building location, for example warmer regions would probably benefit from a light cladding with reflective surfaces. The right choice of cladding can transform even the most run-down project overnight, it’s a far more durable and cost-effective solution than paint.