In today’s eco-conscious society, sustainability and eco-friendliness play a major role in the types of materials that we use in various aspects of our lives. One such aspect is construction, as more and more homeowners are becoming conscious of the type of materials they use in their indoor and outdoor spaces. If you are looking to take a more environmentally-conscious approach towards cladding your home, composite timber cladding is an excellent choice of material.
Apart from its other known benefits, such as; resistance to UV-ageing, resistance to saltwater corrosion and air moisture, damp prevention, fade resistance, vast colour, texture and design options, energy management and better control of internal temperature levels, composite timber cladding offers the benefit of being a highly sustainable cladding material.
Why is Composite Timber Cladding Eco-Friendly?
When it comes to cladding materials, composite timber cladding is one of the most eco-friendly. This is mostly due to the fact that the material is made from a mixture of recycled wood fibres and recycled plastics (together with some bonding agents and colourants). Using these recycled materials helps minimise plastic and wood waste, which in turn helps the environment.
The processes of mixing the material and creating the cladding boards are also energy efficient as most of the time; energy is only expended during the extrusion stage of the production. The process of making composite timber cladding boards is also very sustainable, as leftover plastics and wood will always be available, which means that the cladding boards can continue to be produced for the foreseeable future.
Comparing the Sustainability of Composite Timber Cladding to Other Cladding Materials?
It is clear that composite timber cladding is a sustainable cladding material, but just how sustainable is it compared to other cladding materials?
Composite Timber Cladding Vs Plastic Cladding
Plastic cladding is made from synthetic polymers like PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and while the finished PVC cladding boards may seem like the sustainable choice in terms of future resource use (no treatment or varnishing is required after installation), its production process leaves much to be desired. The polyvinyl chloride used to make plastic cladding causes pollution, which negatively impacts the environment. Compared to composite timber cladding boards that are 100% recyclable, plastic boards cannot be recycled and will most likely end up in a landfill or incinerated.
Composite Timber Cladding Vs Wood/Timber Cladding
While timber cladding may seem environmentally friendly, it is only a good option if the timber is sustainably sourced. Unfortunately, many companies don’t sustainably source their timber, and this can lead to deforestation and the destruction of many flora and fauna. The transportation and production processes of timber cladding boards can also affect the environment.
The only advantage here is that the timber can be recycled once it reaches the end of its lifespan. Timber cladding will also need to be treated (varnished, stained, sealed, oiled and painted) at least annually in order for it to last long. Composite timber cladding, on the other hand, doesn’t require this treatment. This is because the recycled plastic that was included in the composite mixture ensures that the boards won’t require any painting, oiling, sealing or staining. In addition to this very little maintenance, composite timber cladding boards are also completely recyclable.
Other Sustainability Features of Composite Timber Cladding
Less Energy for Production – The fact that composite timber cladding utilises inorganic materials that are completely recyclable eliminates any extra energy that would have been needed to cut, transport and process the cladding products.
Durability and Low Maintenance – Another benefit of composite timber cladding is its impressive durability and lifespan. Composite timber cladding can last for several years with little to no maintenance. It is also able to resist fading, scratches, mould and insect infestations without the need for sealing, painting or treatment with preservatives.
There are a lot of reasons to choose composite cladding for your property- sustainability is one of them. Apart from being made from recycled materials (wood fibres and plastics), composite timber cladding doesn’t consume a lot of energy during production and once installed correctly, they are very durable and can last for several years with minimal maintenance.