Do you have cladding outside your home? Here are some of the things that go wrong with it and how you can fix them.
External wall cladding isn’t always indestructible. There are dozens of advantages to strengthening your building with cladding, and one of the best is that your walls are protected. If your cladding panels are damaged it means that they have taken a blow your walls would have otherwise taken. Your building is safe because they have performed the job they were intended for.
When cladding does go wrong, there are things you can do to repair them before you go to the trouble of having them replaced. Here’s how to deal with some of the common issues that occur with cladding.
Common Cladding Issues and How to Fix Them
If your cladding shows signs of the following problems, here is how to fix them.
Obviously, the UK is in a ‘Cladding Crisis’ right now. If you have combustible ACM cladding on the outside of your building, it will hinder a property sale. The UK government have set up resources to help homeowners caught in the cladding crisis, but far more must be done to correct it. You should repair or replace cladding that has been judged flammable to ensure it does not cause a fire in your home. Combustible cladding must be removed or replaced, there is no way to repair it.
Your new panels, once added, are covered with a protective film to stop corrosion. When they are bolted onto your property, the protective film can be mis-sized or shrink. Damage can also wear it away. This is commonly noticeable when you look at the edges of panelling which has not been re-sealed[i].
Corroded panels can be fixed by removing the rust before it spreads and makes the problem worse. A new layer of sealant is then placed over the edge of the panels, allowing them protection from the elements once again. Ideally, your installer shouldn’t leave without applying this second sealant layer in the first place.
Panels will weather over time, leading to the degradation of the materials used to create them[ii]. They may become cracked, discoloured, or the paintwork can blister. This is all down to your building’s exposure to the elements. Here in the UK, the weather is relentless. When a small crack appears in your cladding, those cracks fill with water and widen. In winter, snow gets in, dampening the innards of the panels and causing issues with the integrity of the building materials.
Weathered panels should be dealt with as soon as they arise. The earlier you get to them, the better. The small cracks can be infilled, but larger ones may lead to panel replacement. This can become expensive if you have damage to multiple panels. Deal with weathering as soon as it arises for best results.
Cladding can get all sorts of scratches and scuffs on it. Impact damage is caused by things like birds flying into your building, kids hitting the lower levels with footballs, and even cars backing into it. Impact damage usually resembles denting, scuffs, scrapes, and scratches.
The fix for impact damage to your building’s cladding is a simple one. You can add a fresh coat of paint to panels that are scratched or scraped. If they are dented, you may be able to pull the panel back into shape using specialist equipment. If it cannot be fixed, individual panels can always be replaced, instead.
Take Care of your Cladding
If you take care of your cladding and mend it as the need arises, you should have a product that lasts for years to come.