Hop Into A Housing Time Machine.
It’s the 1850’s and you’ve just finished construction on your new home.
Most of the houses in your town are made of wood. The material is everywhere, easy to access, and cheap.
But you? You opted for brick with your new home. Brick houses are more of an expensive but, since you can afford it, you want to build a home with an exterior that will withstand generations family use.
Fast forward a hundred years to the 1950’s.
Your neighbors have just finished installing the newest housing upgrade- vinyl siding.
A decade prior, the “big thing” was aluminum siding. But looking at the remaining aluminum houses…some oxidized by weather, others dented and scratched?
It makes you wonder if vinyl is just a fad, too. As a homeowner in the 1950s, you’re thinking to yourself:
“….Should I choose vinyl? Or this this just a way to keep up with the Jones’?”
The longer you look at this high-tech vinyl across the street, the more enamored you become.
If only you had a look into the future to see how that material performed down the road…
Home Exteriors: Always Changing.
The way we protect our homes is always changing. As technology improves- so do we. The search for stronger, longer-lasting, and more affordable ways to protect our homes didn’t stop in the 1850s or the 1950s…and it won’t stop in 2021.
A few weeks ago, we talked about home facades and key differences between today’s most popular options. I got a few follow-up emails asking about cladding- and I’d like to explore that a little more.
Cladding has been used in homes for centuries but this installation style has become popular again. Why? As it turns out, installing today’s best product with tried and true methods that have lasted centuries before really adds to the longevity of your home.
Want to learn more about today’s newest (“oldest!”) exterior trend? Let’s dive in.
Cladding vs Siding: What’s the Difference?
Siding and cladding are very different from each other…but not in the way you might think. In fact, just looking at a home, most homeowners wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
The difference isn’t in the materials used. In fact, popular cladding materials include:
- Fiber cement
- Stone or brick
So what makes siding and cladding different? The installation process.
Traditional siding is attached directly to your home’s sheathing.
Cladding is attached indirectly.
What do I mean? Let me explain.
Basically- there’s an extra gap. Instead of fastening to your house, a layer of furring strips is installed over a weather resistant barrier. Then, the cladding is attached to the furring strips.
An intentional gap is left between the cladding and weather resistant barrier.
Even the strongest siding allows rain water inside. Most exterior materials are designed to dry out quick…but in Pennsylvania? Sometimes it’s a real race for any material to keep up between those heavy summer showers.
Cladding addresses the issue head on. Any rainwater that gets through the exterior will seep down through the gap like a gutter between the back of your exterior and your home’s walls.
The weather resistant barrier protects your home against any additional moisture until everything drains or dries.
Cladding Pros and Cons
Cladding is the most effective way to protect your home from water damage.
But that’s not the only reason cladding is growing in popularity. The gap between your home and cladding creates an extra ventilation system.
This gap creates something called the chimney effect.
The result? Air trapped behind the cladding helps maintain a consistent interior temperature year round.
Remember learning that heat rises? That science comes into play here. During the summer, hot air filling the gap rises out, being replaced with cool air. This circulation keeps your home from overheating. In the winter the air isn’t hot enough to rise out. Instead it becomes trapped in the gap and helps regulate the temperature of your home.
- Increases home value and boosts curb appeal
- Comes in a variety of styles and colors
- Is low maintenance
With all these benefits, you wonder why anyone would opt for a different installation process!
Well, here’s why: installing cladding takes a real pro.
What Can Go Wrong With Cladding?
The biggest downfall to cladding? The difficult installation process.
When installed incorrectly, water becomes trapped in the gap. This sitting water wears at the weather resistant barrier and can lead to internal water damage, mold problems, and more.
Different styles of cladding require different installation processes. Composite siding is very different from stone veneer. Both require a contractor who is skilled in installing the chosen materials AND knows how to work with the specific cladding installation process of that material.
The big takeaway? If you want cladding, make sure your chosen contractor has a proven track record of installation and guarantees their work.
Here at Martin, we can work with all standard materials- either in cladding installation or direct.
Vern and his crew have been restoring home facades here in Schuylkill County for decades. They’re experienced contractors who take pride in their work and guarantee it beyond standard warranties.
If you have more questions about how cladding works or the benefits of it, we’d love to talk.
Give us a call 570-345-0406 to set up an appointment and get started!
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