Some people like the more raw look of a wall finished only in its original material. There’s a clean simplicity to it, depending on the material of course, but it remains a popular choice for both interior and exterior walls. The alternative to a more bare wall is to cover it with cladding.
Contemporary architectural solutions with wall cladding systems have become quite advanced and popular nowadays. It typically comes at some extra cost than leaving a wall bare, but there are numerous good reasons and advantages to investing a bit more money and getting cladding put onto walls. Below we’ll explore some of those benefits.
1. Reduces Overall Maintenance Requirements and Costs
Bare walls typically need to be painted to offer protection to them. Cladding adds a physical layer of protection to any wall, and the only regular maintenance that it requires is washing. If you invest in brick cladding, it’s typically a higher cost but it can sit in place for decades with virtually zero maintenance. It’s the aluminum and vinyl cladding materials that are most in need of regular cleaning.
Vinyl and PVC cladding is typically used in building facades, especially in the US. It’s a great choice because washing typically just means blasting it with a power washer once every 2 years or so, so it takes the idea of low maintenance to amazing new levels. Well-clad walls are therefore easier and cheaper to maintain, which makes them a good investment.
2. It Protects the Wall Integrity
Another reason cladding is a great investment, especially cement board cladding, is that it protects the main wall from the elements and boosts the mechanical strength of the wall structure. You’ll find that well-clad walls will crack far less, and become far more resistant to extreme changes in temperature.
At the same time, it reduces the risk of water absorption as moisture simply rolls off the cladding, and thus cladding is also the best protection against the elements: rain, mold/mildew, and strong winds. What you spend on great cladding will pay for itself gradually as you don’t have to continuously repair and paint the wall that’s underneath.
3. Cladding Boosts the Aesthetic
In virtually all cases, cladding is preferable to a bare wall because it’s simply more attractive. Where cladding once may have been entirely functional, it has become quite beautiful and artistically designed and made nowadays. Cladding is a unique way to provide an entirely new character to a building’s exterior or interior aesthetic without having to build something from scratch.
What’s more, the cladding can be changed to create new effects if that’s something the owner, or a new owner of a property would like to see. Every colour you can imagine is available, from charcoal to cream, gold to beige, as are different styles: whitestone, rustic, greywood and so many more. It’s a real buyer’s market.
4. Adds Resistance to Air/Chemical Pollution
Further above we mentioned physical resistance to the elements and how cladding protects walls from cracking and taking on unwanted moisture, but it also protects against air and chemical pollution, which is extremely useful especially on exterior walls in city environments. Did you know that air pollution can cause serious discoloration, loss of mass, and changes in how porous a wall is.
Materials within air pollution can be corrosive to stone and metal, which is why cladding is so important. City buildings in the US often make use of PVC cladding, as we mentioned earlier because it’s easy to clean off pollution mess, and the pollution itself doesn’t impact PVC as it does stone and metal.