How to Fix a Leaky Roof

Why Is Cladding Important?

Roofing cladding is a material that is used to cover the exterior of a building. It protects the building from weather effects and offers insulation.

Where can cladding be used?

Cladding can be used on external walls and roofs. External walls consist of facades, framing, internal lining, sarking, spandrels and insulation.

What is cladding made of?

Cladding can be made from a number of materials, including wood, brick or metal. It can also be made from a combination of materials such as cement, polystyrene and wood. Wood should be reconstituted timber and not plywood or timber weatherboards, as these woods are not fire resistant. Brick, steel and fibre cement are very effective materials for fire resistance.

What does cladding do?

Cladding assists in protecting the structure of a building from environmental elements. Cladding may or may not be waterproof. Cladding tends to control how different elements come into contact with a surface. For example, it can deflect rainwater from collecting on the surface of the building.

Additionally, cladding can have a ventilated section which removes any moisture from the cladding, through a natural drainage option, as well as evaporation. Cladding also keeps the wind from affecting the structure. Cladding should be fire retardant to reduce the spread of flames in the event of a fire. Cladding can also provide thermal and sound insulation.

Environmental considerations

Cladding can be assessed in accordance with how environmentally friendly the material is. This will include a measurement of the lifespan of the cladding in comparison to the expected lifetime of the building. If the building is not expected to last as long as the cladding, cladding with a lower lifespan is recommended. The lifespan of the seals, joints and fixings should be the same as that of the cladding material.

Another factor that is considered is how much material is required. Steel cladding can include thin sections which cover the same surface area as that of materials that will require thicker sections. The less material required, the less energy that is used in the manufacturing process, which is better for the environment.

Cladding colour

The colour of cladding affects the degree to which heat can be absorbed or reflected. Lighter colours or reflective finishes are typically used in most climates. Darker cladding can offer benefits in colder climates.


Cladding should meet minimum standards, and it should be non-combustible. There are a number of standards that should be followed. Some of the standards vary depending on the material that is used. For example, there are a number of different standards for sheet metal roof and wall cladding. All cladding is required to meet standards for fire resistance.