Watch out for Cut Edge Corrosion
Have you ever wondered what you can do to prevent cladding from browning and rusting along its horizontal edges? Coloured metal or Plastisol cladding on a property does look incredible – but it’s not ageless.
Here’s some tips on how to keep cladding as white as a picket fence!
Forget ‘curb appeal’ and think about the ‘wow factor’ your home would have if the cladding which was installed two years ago, looked as fresh as a daisy still, and no longer like a barn that’s faced many a harsh winter.
Just why does cladding go brown around the edges?
When cladding sheets are factory produced, they are covered with a protective coating – often a basic colour. This coating is waterproofing and weatherproofing, but, like a painted piece of wood, when cut, the edges are no longer ‘coated’. Now exposed and on your home, the edges in approximately 60% of cases, will deteriorate from cut edge corrosion.
Cut edge corrosion is natural degradation of the cladding from exposure to moisture, resulting in rust.
How can you protect your cladding against cut edge corrosion?
In the same way that you’d want to protect your property from damp, algae growth and before-its-time aging, general property maintenance is a must. Regular checks of guttering should be undertaken – clearing out blockages, repairing damage and ensuring that the downpipe does not directly meet brickwork, cladding, or other exterior panels.
Flat roofs and marginally sloped roofs can also have pooled and stagnant water that does not drain away as it should. These pools of water can bleed through and cause internal roof leaks in your home – so if there’s any obstructions on a flat or sloped roof, such as leaves, branches and ‘blown-upward’ debris, clear it away and check that the tiles or surface materials aren’t damaged.
Don’t wait until rust starts to become clearly visible, and as soon as the cladding panels or sheets have been installed on your property, closely inspect the edges. You may want to get a good cladding primer and begin to layer longer lasting protective coatings straight away.
The longer the gap between installation and repair work on the cut edge corrosion, or even simply the exposed edges, the harder it will be to colour match the cladding – as it will have weathered and faded.
Cladding roofs that overhang gutters are especially prone to rust and if the edging is exposed, or there are splits and blisters around joints, fix the area with a colour matched cladding paint after priming (if necessary).
Modern builds and the cladding roof boom
A lot of modern builds have cladding roofs, due to easier maintenance and aesthetically appeal than slates or tiles. The variety of coloured paints available and versatility for skylights or solar panel installation is limitless too, with cladding.
Metal and Plastisol is lightweight, unlike tiles and slate, and when damaged can be repaired in sheets. Drainage is especially good and there are many cladding cleaning liquids available that make cleaning the surface area much easier than tiles, slate or felt.
Colour coordinating the roof, through the gutter, window frames and door, is possible, too.
If you have moved into a property with cladding roofing, requesting professional advice on the condition of the cladding is highly recommended. Remember that to decorate, re-coat and seal the cladding, you will get up to 15 years’ protection!