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How to Maintain your Timber Cladding

Three top tips for maintaining fresh and healthy exterior cladding.

With its natural and unique appearance, timber cladding is an increasingly popular choice for architects and builders, providing low-maintenance building protection. Read on to find out how you can keep your cladding looking its best with minimal effort.

Popular types of timber cladding:

There are many variations of exterior wood cladding, with individual characteristics and maintenance needs.

Western Red Cedar and Siberian Larch are hugely popular softwood timbers, cedar varies in colour from light yellow to rich dark reds whereas larch is paler and more uniform. Whilst technically softwoods, they have the durability qualities of some hardwoods and are highly resistant to decay, although they may require some maintenance to retain colour and condition.

Cumaru is a hardwood timber, which is medium reddy brown in colour and requires similar maintenance to the softwoods mentioned above. The natural colour will tend to fade to a silvery grey over time.

Thermowood is a heat treated softwood that also has good durability properties, although the heat process weakens the structural stability of the wood. It is resistant to decay.

Accoya is a wood that is modified through to the core making it extremely durable and stable. It has the durability qualities of some of the densest tropical hardwoods and is therefore relatively maintenance free.

Problems to look out for:

Like all wood, timber cladding is susceptible to weathering and eventual decay. Look out for the following problems and act quickly to keep your cladding looking great and in good condition.

  • Inconsistent weathering – exposure to UV radiation from south-facing buildings/elevations and contact with moisture can lead to uneven patches on your timber cladding.
  • Mould and algae – caused by contact with moisture, insects and fungus. This is often a problem on buildings/elevations which do not get much direct sunlight.
  • Changes in size and shape – wood is a natural, living material and can shrink and move when exposed to moisture, heat and sunlight.

Maintenance solutions:

Keep your cladding in excellent shape for years to come by following our three simple steps:-

1. Treat your timber cladding

Treated timber generally lasts longer than untreated timber and is far more likely to retain its colour, providing protection from water and UV rays – although darker colours may still fade, a UV protected paint will help prevent the timber from silvering.
Choose from a selection of coatings and coloured, water-based paints specifically designed for wood, or opaque coatings which offer better levels of UV protection.

We offer a highly effective vacuum coating process that coats the paint evenly on the surface without leaving noticeable brush marks. We recommend that any treatments take place before cladding is fitted to ensure maximum protection.

2. Use a pressure washer for cleaning

Got a problem with mould and discolouration? Recent research by TRADA suggests that the best way to clean your timber cladding without damaging any treatments is by using a pressure washer. A simple and speedy maintenance solution.

3. Have a professional install your cladding

Call on a professional to fit your cladding, as special measures should be taken to combat issues arising from moving. Make sure it is fitted during a cool, dry month, especially if your timber is untreated, and use appropriate stainless steel fixings.

Our team are always ready to advise you on the best materials, patterns, finishes and coatings for your cladding. Just give us a call on 01472 350151 or email sales@bennettstimber.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

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