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How do composite materials compare to traditional building materials when it comes to creating wooden cladding?

By Stuart Burns December 12, 2013

Whilst traditional building materials such as wood, concrete and steel have certainly proved enormously successful over the years, they are far from perfect in many different situations, as you shall soon discover. However, over the past few decades there has been little in the way of viable alternatives to these well known solutions.

Undoubtedly one of the most ancient building materials still in use today, wood is also extremely attractive and can add warmth to virtually any space – the most common uses being flooring, decking, beams and more recently, wooden cladding. However, it does require a great deal of maintenance to keep it looking good and to prevent it from rot, mould and splintering, especially when open to the elements. Further, once wood becomes saturated with water, not only does it lose strength, it also becomes more slippery – something anyone with a wooden deck in their back garden will already be well aware of.

Although it is possible to buy wood at almost any price, if you want quality wood that will last well into the future and be suitable for use in wooden cladding, you will generally need to fork out a significant amount. Cheaper softwoods are ill suited to outdoor use and will require a great deal of tender loving care to ensure they don’t start to deteriorate extremely quickly. Far better are exotic hardwoods such as teak. However, even these will still require maintenance.

With composite products, there is no need to put up with any of these issues. At Dura Composites, our Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) decking, for example, is made from a mix of recycled plastics and reclaimed hardwood with various bespoke additives, meaning that it gives you a similar appearance to natural wood decking with the benefit of being impervious to issues such as rot, mould and splintering, making it ideal for use in wooden cladding. Further, the construction of these products also ensures that they won’t be slippery, even when wet. What’s more, this material will need virtually no input from you to retain its impressive aesthetic.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials when it comes to wooden cladding and other building projects, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.