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CLADDING
How to fit Cladding

Please find link to full Cladding fitting instuctions.

If you are not sure you should seek advice from a professional tradesperson in your area.

How to fit the cladding around doors and windows and what trim to use?

Freefoam manufacture a Reveal Liner for fitting around windows and doors. Product code FC319E3 and FC318E3.

Please find link to full Cladding Fitting Instructions.

 

What trims are needed with the cladding to do certain areas? I.e. if the cladding stops in the middle of a wall so you will see the beams with a gap.

Freefoam manufacture a range of cladding trims.

Please find link to full Claddding Fitting Instrutions which show the trim range.

 

Can cladding be put up vertically?

Yes, all Freefoam cladding can be fitted vertically.

Please find link to Fixing Vertically Cladding

Horizontal battens need to be fixed onto vertical counter battens to facilitate ventilation and drainage of the cavity. 

A ‘J’ trim can be used instead of a starter trim  at the base of the installation but it should be perforated to allow any water to escape. Please see instrucions at this link.  

How do I fit cladding to a Gable End?

The top of the installation should be closed with our 2 Part Vent Starter/Closer Trim FC311E3.

Allow 14mm expansion/ventilation The expansion gap is then covered by the second part of the trim.

 

Do I need ventilation for the cladding? How much? Why do I need it?

Cladding installations should have 5,000mm² per linear meter of ventilation (the equivalent of a 5mm continuous gap) at both the top and bottom. 

Ventilation prevents the cladding from overheating, which can cause the cladding to warp and discolour/fade. 

Ventilation also ensures that the timber cladding battens remain in good condition and any mositure can evaporate.

Ventliation is required around Windows and Doors

For General ventilation details see Item 14 on Cladding Fitting Instructions

Could I use your cladding product to cover a sheet Steel building?

PVC Cladding can be fitted over a sheet Steel building. The standard fitting is required. Wood or Metal battens  should be fitted no more than 400mm apart-. Check Cladding Fitting instructions for more information. Ventiklation is required top and bottom and as per our guidelines. 

Do I need to fit a fire board behind the cladding on a dormer?

Due to local site conditions and requirements, always consult with your local council/ building officer to determine suitability.

Is the Freefoam Fortex made of a non combustible material?

Fortex is not classed as non-combustible so should not be used in situations where the building regulations call for non-combustible materials. The D-s3.d2/AHM rating in the test certificate means Fortex cladding is classed as an unprotected area in the Approved Document B1, Part 4. Fortex cladding system is suitable for use on external walls provided it is installed where unprotected areas are allowed in the Building Regulations Approved Document B1 – Dwelling houses, Part 4 – External Fire Spread.

Please go to Downloads for all information on Fire Rating https://freefoam.com/professional/downloads

 

How do I achieve a half hour fire rating when fitting Fortex cladding?

PVC-UE cladding on it's own could burn. You will need to consult with your local building officier for suitability or additional materials required to achieve a 30min fire rating.

Please go to https://freefoam.com/professional/downloads for all information on Fire Ratings

What does the Fire rating D-s3.d2/AHM mean?

The D-s3, d2 fire rating refers to surface spread of flame and means Fortex is classed as an unprotected area in the Building Regulations Approved Document B1 so there are limitations on the location and quantity that can be used.

Building Regulations Approved Document B1 stipulates the quantity and location of unprotected areas.

The amount of unprotected area allowable on a given façade depends on the orientation and proximity of boundaries, use class and height of buildings etc. and assessment should be carried out on a case by case basis according to the specific situation.

Because of this, we avoid giving general advice and recommend that installations are assessed for compliance with Approved Document B1.

The fire ratings relate to various contributions to fire, from very limited to easily flammable.. Pvc cladding offers medium contributions to fire and is self extinguishing, it will burn if you put a fire to it, but as soon as you remove the source it will go out.

Please go to https://freefoam.com/professional/downloads for all information on Fire Ratings

Does the rating refer to the amount of time it will take to burn?

The fire ratings relate to various contributions to fire, from very limited to easily flammable. PVC cladding offers medium contribution to fire. It will burn as soon as you put a flame to the product, but take the source/ flame away and it will go out.

Please go to https://freefoam.com/professional/downloads for all  information on Fire Ratings

What height can PVC cladding be fitted to?

PVC cladding is suitable for domestic properties up to 10m/ 3 floors. Check local site conditions and contact local Building Control Officer to ensure all design and safety elements are met.

Do I need Building Regulations/Planning Permission to install cladding?

There are two situations.

1. If you are replacing like for like, eg pvc cladding is being replaced with pvc cladding then no Building Regulations are needed.

2. If you are replacing another materials for example hanging tiles or wood cladding then contact your local Building Control department for advice. 

Should screws or pins be used to fit cladding?

Screws are always required for cladding installation and they will not prevent the boards from expanding or contracting. Freefoam provide a cladding screw, Freefoam Producdt  Code ACSS250. 

Cladding Fitting Guide

Can I fit cladding to a wall where there is a boiler flue?

Freefoam PVC cladding is manufactured from a non-combustible materia.

An Architect, M&E consultant  will be able to provide further advice on combustible materials proximity to a given flue outlet. 
In this instance Freefoam Cladding would be treated like any other combustible material. Please refer to Building Regulations. The Building Regulations Part J dictate where a flue can be located (or if the flue is already in place, what can be positioned near it).

Can Fortex Cladding be painted?

Fortex cladding can be repainted but it is a specialised and skilled process. We can inform you that there is a method of applying an acrylic coating by means of a spray gun with prior use of cleansing agent but obtaining good results would require the services of an experienced professional. If the area is small applying by brush maybe preferred but we unfortunately are not aware of any one pack paint solution applicable by brush.

Applying any coating will automatically void your guarantee as we not given any approval to any product. Any coating application would therefore be taken at your own risk. Consultation with manufacturers would be strongly advised before any application.

 

Is it necessary to use a breather membrane when installing cladding? What kind of breather membrane should I use?

If a wall is already suitably weatherproof you don’t need the breather membrane.

Breather membrane is available from any Trade or DIY building product store.

Freefoam do not  manufacture or supply this product,  so are unable to comment on specific types or locations. This would need to be confirmed by the breather membrane manufacturer or local building control officer, to ensure your installation conforms to building regulations.

See Cladding Fitting Instructions for more information 

 

Where can I get Fortex Clic from?

Please contact Freefoam on 0800 002 9903

We can then advise on suitable local supplier.

 

Are there any restrictions on using cladding in a coastal area with high levels of salt?

Yes cladding can be fitted in a coastal area.

Please see page 40 of 'The Technical and Specification Manual' that states In coastal areas more frequent cleaning may be required.

How do I fit cladding to a Dormer Window

We have instructions for a Dormer Cheek installation on our Technical Downloads page

Please click here

What is the Guarantee on the Freefoam Cladding?

 Foiled Claddings FC151 and the X-wood FCV143 come with a 10 year guarantee. 

FCF170, FCD333, FCD300, FV100 have a guarantee of 10 years on the lighter colours and 5 years on darker colours. 

What Grade is the cladding screw ACSS250?

The ACSS250 cladding screws are Stainless Steel Grade 304 J3 

Can Freefoam cladding be used directly to clad the exterior without brick work or other masonry materials.

Freefoam cladding doesn’t need to be fitted over brickwork or any other type of masonry.

Our cladding is a rainscreen, it won’t contribute to the fire resistance or structural performance of the wall so you’ll need to be satisfied that the wall already meets the required performance characteristics.

It’ is outside our remit to advise on how this is achieved but a typical construction, from inside to out would be;

Plasterboard

Vapour Control Layer

Timber Frame

OSB

Breather Membrane

Timber battens

Cladding

Where do I source the Drip Trim referred to in drawing 15b & 15c in the cladding fitting instructions

July 2019

We are adding an aluminium version of the trim to the range later this year but unfortunately it’s not available yet.

In the meantime you can bring the sketch below to any company that fabricates steel flashings/trims and they’ll usually make it while you wait.

Also a type 6 folded aluminium cill from Archital in Shropshire would be suitable. If you are ordering this you can use the dimensions A = 26, B = 64, C = 25

https://archital.co.uk/aluminium-cills/

If fitting cladding to a property with a cavity wall do you need to fit the breathable membrane

Yes, a breatherable membrane is required to prevent humidity/ water from entering the building.

Can the cladding be fitted with smaller battens?

No a minimum 25mm space between the membrane and cladding is required to aid ventilation and prevent heat build-up/ warping and discolouration etc.

 

 

Can you confirm where the Drip Trim featured in diagram 15b & 15c on your Claddding Brochure is available from

Sept 2019

We are adding an aluminium version of the trim to the range later this year but unfortunately it’s not available yet.

In the meantime you can bring the sketch attached to any company that fabricates steel flashings/trims and they’ll usually make it while you wait.

Also a type 6 folded aluminium cill from Archital in Shropshire would be suitable. If you are ordering this you can use the dimensions A = 26, B = 64, C = 25

https://archital.co.uk/aluminium-cills/

 

Is the Fortex Cladding LPS or LPCB approved for insurance purposes

 LPS or LPCB are fire tests to a BS standard 8414-1

BS 8414-1:2015 Fire performance of external cladding systems. Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems applied to the masonry face of a building for External Thermal Insulated Cladding Systems with rendered finishes.

The Fortex Cladding range have been tested to EN 13501-1, meets the requirements of the EU CPR (Construction Products Regulations 305/2011) and achieves a D, S3, d2 fire rating as per the enclosed fire test document.

EN 13501-1

Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests.

 

What fixings should be used for the timber battens when fitting cladding

Freefoam do not manufacture or supply timber battens or fixings for battens.

We can advise that the substrate you are fixing to can vary so much that it isn’t appropriate to give advice beyond recommending plugs and screws or express nails when fixing to masonry. If in doubt; Consult the manufacturer of the fixings being considered for final advice on suitability

 

When fixing to timber a general rule of thumb is the woodscrew should be approximately 3 times the thickness of the timber being fixed, for 25mm battens a 70mm long screw would be appropriate.

 

The manufacturers of the fixings being considered should be consulted for final advice on suitability.

FASCIA
Is the colour on the colour fascia and soffit boards on both sides?

No, the colour finish is on the front of the board and the front edge. The back and back edge are white.

Can fascia boards be sprayed or painted?

Yes, use a good primer, and use PVC paint. However if Freefoam boards are painted this will void your Freefoam guarantee.

How do you glue a fascia to the corners and joiners?

Use any non-corrosive silicone, or a suitable pvc superglue and activator.

Why is white fascia 20 year guarantee and colour fascia 10 year guarantee?

Freefoam perform extensive extended weather testing to all products.

Our colour range is backed by our own innovative ColormaxTM technology. Colormax provides ground-breaking colourfastness, colour variety, and reliable colour matching. We use a unique selection of stabilisers and pigments to ensure high colourfastness and have developed an advanced process where natural PVC compound is dosed online with specific concentrations of pigment. This enables us to produce long lasting high quality colours easily and quickly. Product formulations have been adjusted to suit the application. For example, for white and paler colours Titanium Dioxide (Ti02) levels are increased in areas subject to high levels of Ultra Violet (UV) light and extreme temperatures to counteract the effect of strong sunlight.We test all products and the results for testing the colour products show we can offer a guaratnee on colour stability for 10 years. 

White products are guaranteed for 20 years as standard. The guarantee on white products can be extended to 50 years if registered online by a Freefoam Registered Installer. We’re able to offer an extended guarantee because Freefoam has made a successful transition to a more advanced and robust lead-free stabilising system. The stabiliser is based on new Octyl Tin technology, is REACH compliant and provides a range of distinct advantages over Calcium Organic stabilisers, and it is capable of forming the basis of product formulations for the foreseeable future.

Why is the guarantee the same for colour and woodgrain?

Freefoam manufacture the colour range and after comprehensive testing we are confident to offer a 10 year guarantee.

The guaratnee on the woodgrain range is governed by the outer 'foil' . This is the thin layer that covers the white boards to create the woodgrain effect. The 'foil' is manufactured by a world leading film provider Renolit.   Freefoam use the Renolit Exofoil PVC film that offers a durable fade resistant outer layer. The colour pigments in the base layer of the film incorporate Solar Shield Technilogy to protect against excessive heat build up. The upper transparent layer features a PMMA film iwth UV proitection. 

Renolit offer a 10 year guarantee on the foil, which Freefoam pass to our customers. 

Are the colour fascia and soffit boards shiny or matt?

The boards have a glossy finish.

How do I fit fascia and soffit

Instructions for fitting fascia and soffit can be found in our Product Catalogue.

Download a copy here

Please see video here

FIXINGS
What thickness are the N65 and P40 nails?

The nail shank is 3.1mm diameter, the pin shank is 2.1mm.

GENERAL
Where is my nearest stockist?

Please find link to Stockist Finder

Enter your postcode and you will see a list of your local Freefoam stockists

How do I find the dimensions of a product.

Product Dimensions are also included in the Technical and Specification Manual.

CAD files are provided for the majority of products

Link to CAD Files

 

 

GUTTERING
Do you have a rainwater system in RAL 7015?

No, but we have an Anthracite Grey rainwater range which is RAL 7016.

Can I fit Freefoam gutter in countries where the temperature reaches up to 40 degrees

Freeflow can be fitted in these conditions. We advise to reduce the support clip spacing to 800mm as a precaution.

 

What is the guarantee for the Cast Iron gutter range

The Cast Iron gutter range is guaranteed for ten years

INTERNAL PANELLING
How to fit Geo Panel?

Fitting Instructions are included in every pack of Geopanel Internal Panelling.

Please see link to Geopanel Fitting Instructions.

If you are not sure you should seek advice from a professional tradesperson in your area.

 

What glue do you recommend for Geopanel?

A non-solvent based glue should be used

See Fitting Instructions

 

Do I need sealant for the Geo Panel?

A generic bathroom Sealant should be used in any wet area. Avilable from Trade and DIY Stores

Please see Fitting Instructions for more information.

 

Is Geopanel tongue and groove?

Yes.

Do I need to use joining strips?

The boards are tongue and groove.

The Joining strip will only be needed when the height of the wall exceeds the height of the panel.

 

What are the joining strips for?

The Joining strip will only be needed when the height of the wall exceeds the height of the panel.

Joining will be horizontally between boards

How do I clean the Geopanel?

We suggest using our Geopanel Cleaner which can be purchased from Freefoam stockits. 

Product Code GEOCLINSPRAY

Link to find your local stockists 

You can also use any general non abrasive cleaner e.g Flash.

Use of abrasive cleaning products may cause delamination of the panels.

I am considering fitting a fold-down shower seat on the wall of the shower. The seat, I'd like to fit is the sort that is not supported by legs but is totally supported by wall. Please advise how to fit on to Geopanel.

We would advise the use a rubber washer against the panel with a metal washer behind. 
This will prevent any damage to the panels.

 Panel/Rubber Waher/Metal Washer/Seat Bracket/Screw or fixing. 

 

Can I use the Geopanel in the kitchen?

the PVC Geopanel range can be used in kitchens

It must not be subject to temparature of more than 60 degree celsius.

Please see Data Sheet

How do I fix a radiator to a Geopanel wall?

Use a toggle fixing and a washer on the face of the panel or a plasterboard fixing with a washer again to stop the screw pulling through.

What is the Light Reflective Value of the Geopanels?

The Light Reflective Value for the Matt Range  is 8 -10 degree while the Light Reflective Value for the Gloss range is 90-92 degree

Can i fit Geopanel panelling horizontally

No we would not recommend Geopanel internal panelling be fitted horizontally in a wet area.

 

SOFFIT
Can i fit LED downlights in to vented Soffit?

It is acceptable to cut into the Vented Soffit. The reduction in overall ventilation would be negligible to non-existent.

LED IP65 lights will not get very hot but we recommend you contact the light fitting manufacturer about heat generation of its products.

Your electrician will also be able to advise.

 

How many Circular Soffit Vents (FCV) do I need to use per 5m length Soffitt?

We would recommend approx 25 spaced every 200mm.

This equates to a 10mm airflow.

What is the difference between F112 and F312 hollow soffit?

There are two differences

F112 is extruded with more PVC making it  a heavier board. The wall thicknesses is also slightly thicker.

F112 is used as the base board for the Woodgrain and Colour range.

F312 is only available in white 

Both F112 and F312 are 300mm hollow soffits and not suitable or recommended for exterior cladding applications. The guarantee would be void if fitted as exterior cladding.