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The process of using materials on the roof and walls to enclose a house, providing protection against weather is known as cladding.

Brief Description

Building cladding is an exterior finish material that is installed over the wall framing or building support structure. It serves a dual purpose of improving the appearance of the building and helping to keep outdoor elements out. Cladding itself may not be water or wind resistant, but combined with other waterproofing elements like building wrap and insulation, cladding systems help to complete the exterior walls of a building. Cladding comes in many forms and materials, which are generally chosen based on the design and aesthetics of the building.

In different parts of the world, the words ‘cladding’ or ‘weatherboard’ are also used as a substitute to the word ‘cladding’.

Types of Cladding for Buildings:

Vinyl Cladding

It is the most common exterior finish used on buildings in North America. This material is made from rows of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin panels. It is a cheap cladding material that is easy to cut, install and replace as necessary. As green building interests increase, more and more attention is being paid to the off-gassing effects of PVC cladding. This material is said to release toxic fumes as it interacts with the air. These elements can potentially be harmful to humans, and may irritate respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Stone Veneer

One of the more expensive ways to clad a building is to use brick or stone veneer. This product requires a high upfront investment, but will likely last for decades once installed, and needs no maintenance. Masonry veneer may consist of various types of brick, stone, or clay products attached to structural framing.


 It is installed with an empty air space between the building and the back of the stone.

 Weep holes placed at the bottom of this opening allow for excellent drainage, and help keep water out of the building itself.

 This cavity provides plenty of space to install building insulation, particularly rigid foam boards, which can help control temperature and reduce heating and cooling costs.

EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems)

EIFS are one of today's most popular exterior cladding products for commercial buildings such as schools, offices, and high rises. EIFS is a system of plastic insulating panels covered by a synthetic stucco-like material. The finish on these walls can mimic the texture of stucco or plaster, or can be toweled so smooth that it looks like a solid piece of stone. Dyes and pigments are used to color EIFS as it is applied, or it can be painted. It also aids in improved drainage mechanism.

Wood Cladding

Wood cladding and shingles are very common types of cladding. This material is made up of wood planks derived from oak, pine and cedar trees. When rows are installed so that they overlap, the effect is called "clapboard," leading to the term "clapboard house." Wood cladding is naturally weather-resistant, environment-friendly and thermally insulating. This material is quite durable, but requires more maintenance than most other kinds of cladding. It must be treated for termites every few years, and tends to need repainting or a touch-up quite frequently.

Metal Cladding

Metal cladding comes in two basic varieties. There is the corrugated steel used on storage buildings, and aluminum panels or cladding used mostly on homes. Corrugated steel is popular on buildings where appearance isn't really an issue. This product is extremely strong and durable, and will last for years with no maintenance. While rust can be a problem, it can be avoided through the use of galvanized metal. Aluminum cladding, on the other hand, is a popular cladding for homes in coastal areas. The aluminum will not rust or corrode when exposed to moisture or saltwater, and can withstand storms and harsh conditions better than many other cladding products. Metal cladding in general is fairly expensive, though it is resistant to rot, termites, and most kinds of damage.


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