Timber cladding is also known as timber siding or timber weatherboarding is the process of finishing timber on the outside of residential and commercial properties. Timber cladding projects for a home or building are often perform to improve the aesthetics of a property. It is an economical undertaking that can make any Australian home or commercial establishment last longer than without. So, if you are looking to carry out this project, here are a few tips you need to remember.
Moisture – moisture can significantly affect the performance and longevity of timber. Therefore, you have to take into account the width of the board. Restricting the width to 150mm will allow you to better manage shrinking and swelling. You should also consider the light and water penetration if you are thinking of using an open-jointed cladding system since this can also cause warping and shrinking. Don’t forget to work on your waterproofing details especially in areas surrounding your windows and door openings as you come up with a plan for your external timber cladding.
Support – cladding boards whether composite wood or not, should be fastened securely on softwood cladding battens, which are usually perpendicular to the timber cladding boards. The profile of the board and the method you will use to install it will determine if the vertical counter battens is required so proper ventilation and drainage is ensured. You may have to place horizontal battens at an angle to dispel water.
Fixings – The fixings you use also plays an important role in your external timber cladding project. Keep an eye on the nail’s length. If you will use plain nails, be sure that there is a penetration of more than twice the cladding board’s thickness into the support batten. You need to go with stainless steel nails if you are planning to use softwood cladding while stainless steel screws work better with hardwood cladding. It is also recommended that you drill holes that are slightly bigger than needed so there’s enough space for the expansion and shrinking of the wood.
Installation – Your vertical timber cladding boards need proper care. You can limit discoloration and moisture exposure if you make sure that your boards are spaced evenly, slightly covered, and well ventilated. The ideal moisture content for timber cladding upon installation is within 16% to 18%, which guarantees minimal distortion or movement.
Weathering – If uncoated, your new cladding boards, whether made of composite or real wood, will be exposed to the varying weather conditions. Uncoated timber will change in color and shrink due to moisture and sunlight. Make sure your timber is coated so it will always be in good shape.
If you will coat your timber, you also have to know how long this coat will last. Varnishes and oils will require reapplication annually, which may be deemed as impractical by many. On the other hand, stains and paints last longer and need minimal maintenance, making them great alternatives.
Colour – Extractive staining will happen if the water soluble properties of your timber cladding panels come to surface. If you decide to use natural timber types like oak and cedar, you need to expect high levels of extractiveness so in case staining takes place, you can either remove it or allow it to fade. The choice is yours.
Design – You can effectively manage water exposure and avoid water traps with the right external timber cladding design. You can remove any excess water by cutting the ends of your vertical cladding board and allowing it to drip off. It offers protection and helps ensure longer lifespan. You can also prevent sitting water if you use an 8mm gap on exposed end grains.
Contact Futurewood if you want know more about their range of eco-friendly composite wood and co-extrusion timber products for your exterior timber cladding project.