Tips to Consider When Protecting External Timber Cladding

26 January 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Are you planning to buy timber for use as external cladding on your home? Read on and learn some of the useful tips that you should keep in mind when you are applying a surface protection coating to protect that timber from the elements.

Timing is Important

Some types of timber, such as timber from softwoods, can become friable if it is left exposed to the elements for some time before a surface coating is applied. Such friability results from the damaging effects of UV radiation. You can know that this deterioration has started if you see the timber turning grey. You can avert this problem by applying a surface coating promptly so that UV radiation damage isn't allowed to begin.

Pick a Coating with a Pigment

Some people may wish to use a clear coating in order to retain the attractive appearance of the grain of the timber that they have purchased. However, such a coating will provide limited protection from ultra violet radiation. Consequently, the service life of that external cladding may be shortened as the timber succumbs to UV light damage. It is therefore advisable to select a surface coating that has a pigment in it so that the timber has better protection against UV radiation.

Select a Permeable Coating

Some types of wood stains and varnish don't allow water vapour to penetrate them. Such surface coatings can cause trapped moisture to form blisters on the surface of the timber coating. Such blistering or flaking may increase the frequency at which you have to do maintenance work, such as repainting, on that external timber cladding. It is better to select a surface coating that will allow vapour to permeate through that coating. In this way, any excess moisture within the timber cladding will be able to escape.

Don't Apply All Coats at Once

It is usually advisable to apply only one finishing coating before you install the cladding. The final coat can then be applied once the cladding is in place. This method ensures that the timber will be protected from the elements during the installation process. Secondly, the finishing coat that you apply after installation of the cladding provides protection to any timber that becomes exposed during the installation process. For instance, the final coat protects spots where nails were initially driven but later removed.

As you can see, the effective protection of your external timber cladding depends on thinking about and applying carefully selected surface coatings in a planned sequence. It is therefore advisable to seek for the guidance of timber suppliers in case you lack experience in choosing the most appropriate coatings for the timber that you have selected. You will then avoid making a mistake that will shorten the life of your timber cladding.