Don't Surrender To The Render!

If you are building a new property or renovating the exterior of an existing property you may be deciding whether to use cladding or render. There are some great cladding choices available for property exteriors such as fibre cement, timber, and porcelain.

Why choose cladding over render?

In this guide, you can learn more about the differences between cladding and render, why cladding is superior, and all about three of the best cladding types currently available.

Table of Contents

1. The disadvantages of rendering and why cladding is superior
2. Types of cladding
3. The benefits of cladding
4. Why cladding is superior to render
5. Cladding FAQs
6. Next steps

The Disadvantages of Rendering and Why Cladding Is Superior

Render is inflexible which means it is prone to cracking. During situations where the sand and cement rendering material experiences extreme weather such as during summer or winter, large temperature changes cause the render to expand in the summer and contract in the winter, sometimes abruptly, resulting in cracks. Once this has happened, water gets into the cracks and soaks into any voids between the render and the substrate (e.g. brick or stone substrate). The older the render is, the more chance there is of cracking and the bigger the voids due to the rendering material undergoing significant expansion and contraction. Once there, the water will not be able to leave the render and so instead of evaporating into the open air, it evaporates into the house itself. As a result, big patches of moisture form on the wall.

On the other hand, a great feature of cladding is that it is designed to expand and contract. This means that not only does cladding not crack but it keeps the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Cladding also doesn’t allow algae or mould to form. The benefit of this is that less maintenance is required plus it will help insulate the property. Better insulation also helps to save money on energy bills and is more environmentally friendly.

Another disadvantage of render is that it reduces the ability of a building to evaporate and circulate the moisture that’s produced inside the building itself. For example, moisture coming from the occupants and areas of the house further away and condensation often occurs as a result.

By opting to use cladding you are guaranteeing that the building can breathe. This will help prevent a build-up of moisture in the building which can lead to costly problems to fix such as mould.

A further downside of using render is that it can be much more costly to maintain than cladding. Due to the frequency of the cracking that occurs the render will require repainting regularly. However, thanks to its robust nature cladding requires virtually no maintenance. Over the years this will save both time and money for the people responsible for the maintenance of the building.

Problems with on-site render mixes are that they can vary from plasterer to plasterer. Typically, people living with a poor render mix experience bubbling, too, and where the render is applied to walls with limited direct sunlight (to help dry it out), black mould can appear, along with algae and lime bloom. In addition, the render will need repainting every five years or so which is an ongoing expense to keep in mind.

It is a long process to apply render of typically 2-3 coats which cannot be installed in the rain thus limiting when the render can be installed.

This gives cladding further advantages including –

• Cladding can be installed in any weather
• Little or no ongoing maintenance
• Specialist labour required not for the DIY market
• Cladding is easier to install

The general problems and upkeep of render compared to the longevity and little to no ongoing maintenance of cladding means that long term cladding is the best option financially.

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Types of cladding

There are a variety of cladding options to choose from. Each one has a variety of benefits that are worth considering. This section will cover three types of cladding – fibre cement, timber, and porcelain.

Fibre cement cladding

Fibre cement cladding is a great choice if you are looking for cladding that requires virtually no maintenance. To keep this cladding looking good you simply need to wash it with soapy water. A further benefit is that no matter which fibre cement cladding you choose it will not require repainting or even a touch-up. The colour will last for the lifetime of the cladding.

A concern for any property that uses wood is the possibility of a pest infestation. Thanks to the concrete part of the fibre cement cladding this concern is no more. Termites, woodpeckers, or other pests attracted to wood won’t be a problem.

Not only does fibre cement cladding require little maintenance but it will also last for a long time. Typically, the cladding would last for a minimum of 30 years before replacement should be needed. However, rigorous testing has shown that fibre cement cladding could actually last for over 60 years. This longevity is fantastic!

When considering which cladding to use safety should always be a priority. Fibre cement cladding can add peace of mind as it has an excellent fire rating of A2 non-combustible.

Porcelain cladding

Porcelain cladding has two options, you can choose large format porcelain or technical porcelain cladding. Porcelain cladding is an innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly solution for either residential or commercial building projects.

Commercial projects are using porcelain cladding more and more. There are many reasons for this including the fact porcelain is lightweight, easy to install, and is available in a vast array of colours and finishes to suit any style.

A great benefit of porcelain cladding is its fire safety rating of A1 non-combustible. It is also very hard-wearing as it is abrasion, chemical, temperature, stain, wear, and tear resistant.

Timber cladding

Timber cladding has many fantastic benefits. One benefit is that provided the timber cladding was properly treated before installation that it will be low maintenance. If there is a build-up of moss, dirt, or if the timber becomes discoloured, then it is easily cleaned. All that is needed is a good wash with a pressure washer.

Another great reason to use timber cladding is that it is environmentally friendly. The material is 100% recyclable plus it will improve thermal insulation. The improved insulation can help save on energy bills. Timber cladding also improves sound insulation and it can come with a fire safety rating of Euro class b.

The Benefits of Cladding

There are many great reasons to choose cladding instead of render. Here are the main benefits of using cladding –

• Thanks to its design that allows it to expand and contract, cladding doesn’t crack
• It is a very low maintenance choice and, in some cases, no maintenance will be needed
• Cladding will help keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter
• Using cladding ensures the building can breathe, this means moisture won’t build up causing mould or other issues
• Helps insulate property
• It is more environmentally friendly
• Cladding has a life expectancy of up to 60 years, is environmentally friendly, and easier to install

Why cladding is superior to render

One key problem render has is that it is prone to cracking. Cracking leads to numerous issues such as the need for regular maintenance and that means it also allows moisture in. Over time this moisture can cause such issues as mould or algae. A reason cladding is superior is that it is designed to expand and contract. This means no cracking and no issues caused by moisture such as mould or algae.

Cladding is also cheaper to maintain as render will need repainting often, typically every 5 years. In most cases, cladding requires virtually no maintenance at all and can last for up to 60 years!

Render can also be difficult to install plus it has to be installed when the weather is right. Cladding has the benefit of being versatile enough to allow installation in any weather conditions plus is much easier to install.

Cladding FAQs

Why choose cladding over render? Cladding has many great benefits including improving insulation, environmentally friendly, and low maintenance.

Is all cladding durable? Providing the cladding is properly installed all options have a long life span and are extremely durable.

What is the best cladding to use? The three mentioned in this article all have fantastic benefits. Ultimately you can choose based on budget and what will work best for the project.

Is cladding expensive? The cost will vary for each project based on things such as the type of cladding used and the amount needed.

Next steps

Our guarantee is to provide the highest quality cladding products along with the highest quality service.

As cladding specialists, we can offer expert and free advice that is tailored to your project. Along with this advice, you can receive a free quote and free estimations.

Contact us now to discuss your project further.

Or if you want to talk to us now, give us a call on 0131 564 0402.