Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions About Cladding for a Home

Cladding refers to a layer of material that is put over a building's exterior, to improve insulation and the appearance of the building, or to cover over damage to the exterior. If you're looking for a very cost-effective way to make repairs to your home's exterior while also making it looks its best, note a few commonly asked questions about cladding, and you can then determine if this is the right choice for your home.

Can it go over asbestos containment?

If your home has an asbestos wall sheeting to contain asbestos in the home, cladding can usually go over this material, and may even increase the protection you get from that sheeting. This exterior cladding will help protect the sheeting from potential damage and also help insulate the home against soundwaves and other vibrations, keeping the asbestos and its containment in place.

What is the difference between fibre and vinyl cladding?

Vinyl cladding is made from long lengths of vinyl material that are stamped to look like wood or aluminium. They are typically painted at the factory a colour of your choosing, or may come in a variety of standard colours. Fibre cladding is made with a mixture of fibrous materials and a cement compound, and also created in long lengths that are stamped or painted to look like aluminium or wood. Fibre cladding may be more eco-friendly, as it's typically easier to recycle this material if you ever decide to have it removed.

What maintenance and painting is needed for cladding?

Vinyl and fibre cladding are both very durable, and both should need no maintenance other than a standard cleaning over time. You also typically cannot paint the cladding yourself, because the material won't usually hold a standard paint colour. If you want to change the colour of your home's cladding, you would need to talk to your installer. He or she may have a paint method that would work for the cladding, or you may need to have it replaced in order to change the colour. Be sure you understand any limitations to changing the appearance of the cladding so you know you choose a material and colour you're happy with for years to come.

Does the cladding need special prep?

Cladding may need to have a vapour barrier installed behind it, in order to fill in any gaps between the cladding the home's exterior. Otherwise, it usually installs right over the home's current exterior materials without any added prep work or the need for substrate materials.