In construction, cladding, or siding, refers to coating one material with another for aesthetic and functional purposes. Cladding serves as a control feature, protecting the building from the elements. Types of cladding materials include wood, plastic (or vinyl), imitation stone or brick, and metal. Wood siding can include Eastern white pine, plywood sheets, wood shingles, cedar and redwood. Metal siding can be aluminum and galvanized steel.
The most prominent advantage to cladding a building is the minimal maintenance required as compared to painting. Most external cladding requires nothing more than regular washing to maintain its newness. Extruded aluminum cladding, for instance, is used for walls, facades, canopies, roofs and column covers. It provides durability and long-lasting resilience, protecting the structure from external weather elements, while requiring almost no maintenance. Vinyl siding is a common finish used on building facades in the United States. It is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels, which are easy to install, cut and replace. PVC cladding requires no maintenance other than a power wash every two years. Stone or brick veneer cladding is an expensive upfront investment, but it is likely to last for decades without any maintenance.
Safety and Protection
The basic purpose of external cladding is protection. It increases the mechanical strength of a structure, improves its resistance to cracking during increased temperature change, reduces water absorption, increases resistance to sunlight, and provides resistance to air and chemical pollution. Cladding also offers protection against the rain, strong winds and molds.
Building cladding transforms the look of an otherwise drab structure, making it aesthetically appealing and increasing its market value. Granite wall cladding, for instance, is available in a variety of textures and colors. It may be polished, finished or left rough, depending on the aesthetic requirements of its builders. A large variety of brick cladding solutions are available, including whitestone, vintage, rustic, rosebud and greywood. Each type provides a unique look to a building facade. Stone cladding is available in a wide range of colors, including light golden, cream, beige, charcoal, and yellow.