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What Is Window Cladding?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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Window cladding is the process of joining two materials in order to establish a weather-proof covering for window frames. Often referred to as window capping, this application aims to control environmental factors that could have negative effects on building structures in general and, in particular, the windows themselves. The substance most widely utilized for effective window capping is aluminum cladding covered with polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Inclement weather can present a series of problems for windows. Proper cladding installation prevents water and wind from seeping into window frames and causing leaks, wood decay, and the ruining of walls and structural supports. Energy efficiency is also enhanced by the presence of window cladding as it offers an additional layer of protection between a structure and the weather and helps to keep out the cold and retain heat.

During the window cladding installation process, metal fasteners are attached to the capping material to hold it securely in place. The fasteners are then typically covered with caulk in order to conceal them from view. The security provided by the fasteners can also extend the life of a window, ensuring it is held firmly against the elements.

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While cladding keeps the need for window repairs to a minimum, the material itself may become damaged over time or with the onslaught of particularly extreme weather conditions. Window cladding may start to crack, weatherstripping may wear down, or caulking may loosen. When these conditions arise, handy homeowners can repair the damage themselves or employ the services of professional cladding companies.

If a crack appears in window cladding, it can be repaired with PVC sealant. After thoroughly cleaning the area to be mended, it is possible to see the extent of the crack and decide whether or not the cladding must be removed to properly fill the fissure. Larger cracks will require the material to be removed, filled in with the sealant, and replaced. Taking down the cladding will also guarantee the fracture can be better concealed once the material is reinstalled. Smaller cracks, or cracks appearing in areas difficult to access, will need to be sealed while the cladding is in place.

Aluminum cladding is available in pre-painted varieties to match the colors of existing structures. Properly maintained with regular cleaning, this type of window cladding can last for years and requires no additional painting or touch-ups. Cladding suppliers offer an array of color options to meet the needs of homeowners and construction experts.

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