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Fascias, Soffits & Cladding - The Benefits

First - A sad story:

The 1960's saw a proliferation of property design, which is readily identifiable by its large expanse of the 'half clad' house. Quite scandalous in reality as the softwood cladding and joinery frames in that day were all too often built into a property 'wet', with the dire result of it not being able to hold onto it's protective coating of a gloss paint finish. The clock was ticking from day one in this instance, and the wood was almost rotting from the inside out.

Wood rot and wood protection:

Knotting, one coat of primer, one coat of undercoat, and two coats of good quality lead based gloss paint was always the accepted and ultimate protection for exterior wood as our forebears taught us; and then every handful of years a sandpaper down and re-gloss was the order of the day to keep it up to scratch. The theory was that the wood was to be entirely sealed and encapsulated from any exterior penetration of dampness, which would undoubtedly degrade it - which sounds good in theory!

Then the penny dropped…

This theory was reversed with the introduction of micro-porous stains, which allow the wood to breathe, whilst at the same time not allowing in water moisture to penetrate. Unfortunately this only works at it's best with new and previously untreated wood, and even burning back will not remove the blocked pores of previously glossed timber.

PVCu fascias & soffits - The ultimate low maintenance home improvement.

Fascias & Soffits - before Fascias & Soffits - after

PVC Cladding:

Wood as a cladding material is now old-fashioned, full stop. Particularly as today's technology provides us with a superior material that is absolutely ideal, either as a clad over, or as a complete strip and replace. This applies to just about all properties in the UK, and the reasons for this are:

It is relatively inexpensive.
It looks good.
You will never need to paint it.
It will never rot.

Two ways to do it?

There are two ways to go about the fitting new PVC cladding to your property, either clad over, or a full strip off, and you can also either diy or call in the professionals.

A: Most professionals will advise a full strip, and we cannot really argue against this. They will most likely remove the first row of tiles above your guttering and fit a rubbery/plastic strip along and under that row. Also with a full strip fit they should fit thicker fascia boards than is normal for diy, and remove the first row of tiles to the apex (bargeboards) and fit a new zinc under flash.
B: If you are considering D.I.Y. you are probably thinking of doing a clad over, which is what most homeowners do, and may just be ok on the basis that the existing wood will provide a flat and stable base for the new PVC cladding to be fitted to. In this case you will need to be completely confidant that you are quite proficient as a diy 'chippie', and be absolutely certain that you will be safe up ladders or on a tower, as this is not a job for the inexperienced or fainthearted. Most important: make certain that you incorporate ventilation into the Soffit boards, or you might suffer (unseen but damaging) condensation in the loft space.

All in all the choice is yours, DIY can be fine if you feel safe to do it and have researched the job properly as it relates to your own particular type and style of property.

On the other hand you can call in the professionals and have the job done properly with a full strip.

All photos courtesy of Swish Building Products


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National Plastics - Specialist Suppliers of Building Plastics to DIY and Trade
Fascias, guttering, soffits, trims, and cladding. All available online in easy to manage 2.5 metre lengths. No need to struggle, our unique shorter length supply makes DIY and single person installation manageable. All fascia and soffit products combine a whole range of impressive qualities: they are resistant to damp and dirt, easy to install, durable and light, recyclable and easy to maintain. If you need advice, our installation guides are available online, quick and easy to follow. UK Delivery.

National Plastics - Specialist Suppliers of Building Plastics to DIY and Trade

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