Essential Maintenance for Timber Cladding

When was the last time you took a walk around your local area? Did you notice a fast-growing predominance of timber cladding appearing on brand new builds and renovation projects? If so, you’re not alone – wood cladding systems are big news right now. There’s even a growing demand for traditional wood soffits and wood facias rather than the everyday champion of recent decades, UPVC.

timber-cladding

Beautiful Timber Cladding

Timber cladding – A fast growing trend

Timber cladding is a fast-growing trend. It’s beautiful. It’s durable. It’s environmentally friendly and sustainable. And it’s a brilliantly simple way to give a building a facelift. We thought it’d be handy to take a look at the ins and outs, pros and cons of wood cladding, which types of wood are the most popular and how to maintain it, whether it’s weatherboarding, wood panelling, cedar cladding or shiplap cladding.

Wood cladding in the UK – What are people using?

Here are the details about three of the most popular timber cladding woods, all with one thing in common: they all weather beautifully and fade to a soft, stylish silvery grey after five years or so.

Western red cedar external timber cladding

Western red cedar is a softwood, apparently the most popular choice right now for external cladding in the UK. When you use the heartwood or wood from the centre of the tree, it’s naturally occurring chemical transformation makes it more resistant to decay, so there’s no need to treat the timber first. Look for British Standard BS EN 350-2, classed as ‘durable’, and insist on good green credentials via FSC certification.

The wood is usually imported from North America but British western cedar is getting more common, although it’s less durable. On the bright side, the home grown stuff is cheaper and greener, with dramatically fewer miles travelled.

The natural oils the wood contains can corrode iron-rich metals, so you need to use either galvanized or stainless-steel fixings. The wood can be nailed and screwed easily and rarely splits. Because it’s soft and brittle, you should only use it in areas where heavy damage is unlikely.

American imported red cedar is relatively expensive but has an expected life of 40-60 years. Luckily you can get less costly timber cladding that lasts almost as long.

European oak wood cladding

European oak is a hardwood, perfect for external wood cladding. Again it’s classified as ‘durable’ under BS EN 350-2 and doesn’t need any prior treatment when you stick to the heartwood and avoid the sapwood. It’s also available with FSC certification.

Green oak is best used when you want a rustic, wavy-edge finish, and compared to dry oak it’s excellent value for money. Just bear in mind the green stuff can shrink as much as 7% when it dries out, which means it makes sense to only use short lengths and fix it as fast as you can. It’s no good leaving the timber lying around for a month, a season or more.

Dry oak is usually used for profiled cladding sections, either dried naturally or in a special kiln. It’s usually used untreated, is extremely hard wearing and rugged. But it’s prone to water stains and leaks tannin in the early stages when the weather’s wet. So you’ll need to use stainless steel fixings and you might even need to bring green wood washers into play to keep everything secure. The wood is dense, one of the heavier cladding woods, and while it’s quite expensive it lasts 40-60 years.

Sweet chestnut exterior timber cladding

When you choose BS EN 350-2 sweet chestnut, a hardwood, you don’t need to treat it first as long as you only use the heartwood. Again, it’s available with FSC certification and is grown here at home in Britain.

Popular because of its hard wearing nature and stability, the tree has a fast growth cycle so it’s a particularly sustainable wood, taking 20-25 years to mature compared to 50-100 years for oak and larch.

Sweet chestnut stains when wet and leaches tannin like European oak, so you need to use stainless steel fixings.

The pros and cons of external timber cladding

We’ve covered the up-side: the beauty, the durability and so on. But what about the down side?

Like all timber, wood cladding can suffer from attacks by fungus and insects. Cheaper, less durable timber like European redwood should always be treated and, depending on where and how it’s used, might even need re-coating. If your building is in an inner city or tricky location, access might be a serious challenge.

Then there’s sustainability. The energy used to transport the timber needs to be taken into account, which is where EU woods come into their own. But if you want the most durable, long-lasting cladding available it might need to come from farther afield.

Like all wood, cladding can shrink and expand as the temperature changes and the weather moves from wet to dry and back again. Green oak can shrink as much as 10mm over a 150mm board. The people fitting your cladding should be aware of this and take it into account. If they’re not, you could be in for a disaster.

One of the biggest exterior timber cladding issues is staining from the fixings. If it’s not done properly, you can end up with nasty stains all over the surface. And if you’re keen on a consistent look, bear in mind cladding open to the elements might fade faster than cladding in more sheltered areas.

Acetic acid is powerful stuff, produced naturally in wood with more than a 20% moisture content. And it’s powerful enough to corrode mild steel and galvanized steel screws and nails. If you’re anywhere near the salty coast you’ll probably be best off using stainless steel or other non-ferrous fixings, perhaps even silicon bronze, popular for use with external wood cladding made from Western red cedar.

Weathering per se isn’t an issue. In fact it’s something most people love, that beautiful, soft, subtle silvery grey. Just bear in mind your cladding might not weather evenly at first, although it should all eventually end up roughly the same colour.

In short, timber cladding isn’t bad. You just need to make sure it’s installed and used the right way, and maintained properly.

Basic exterior timber cladding maintenance

The best advice seems to be this: if your cladding needs treatment, treat it before you fit it. Use a protective coating that’s both water and UV resistant, and one that lets the wood breathe. As a general rule, opaque coatings need more frequent maintenance.

It’s best to avoid paints, which form a film on the surface and tend to bubble up. Use a penetrating product where all you need to do is clean the wood first. Sioo Wood Protection comes highly recommended. Although it’s far from cheap. While it penetrates the wood and leaves it UV protected, free from rot and mould for around a decade, and neutralises tannin acids, the experts say it costs about £1000 for a 50 square metre area of cladding. Although we don’t supply the Sioo wood protection system, we do offer a range of far more cost effective options from Osmo, Sadolin, Sikkens and Dulux Trade which provide excellent performance. See our full range of Timber Cladding Coatings here.

Your number one task is to keep your eye on the cladding and act the moment you spot something going wrong. No natural product is entirely maintenance-free, after all. On the other hand some UK cedar-clad buildings have lasted since World War Two, and cedar has considerable natural resistance to decay. There are even so-called ‘modified’ timber cladding products available, designed to cut maintenance and minimise rot, warping and splitting, which can deliver a maintenance-free finish for up to three decades.

Avoid these common mistakes for longer-lasting exterior wood cladding

  • Bear in mind this country’s damp climate means moisture is inevitable. It helps to avoid cladding North or East facing surfaces
  • Get the timing right – To avoid warping and curling of green or freshly cut timber, clad your building between October and April to stop one surface drying faster than the rest
  • Never install cladding before or during a heatwave
  • Choose hardwood cladding, so much more durable than softwood
  • Find an expert installer, not just any old builder
  • If you’re going to use a wood finish, you will need a maintenance cycle to keep the cladding’s appearance up. Depending on the type of cladding, the wood finish or treatment used, which direction the surface is facing and also on how much wind, rain and sun the cladding gets will affect the maintenance period which could be anything from 2 to 5 years. Wood oils are easier to maintain as there is no need to sand the old finish off, just clean and re-apply
  • If you’re in an urban area remember dirt and pollution will affect the colour and condition of your cladding. It can even make some timbers turn almost black, notably cedar

To clad or not to clad?

We’d love to know about your experiences with timber cladding, good and bad. Feel free to leave a comment.

71 Responses to “Essential Maintenance for Timber Cladding”

  1. Peter Poulton Says:

    I am about to embark on a new build which is to have timber cladding. The Architect is has designed the house to show the cladding vertical; we have voiced our opinion that we prefer horizontial. The Architect is adamant that the cladding should be vertical and has given lots of reasons why this should be so. We have decided to go with his advice. We are new to this idea of cladding and although we have acquiesced to the cladding being vertical we are still wondering if we have made the right decision from an aesthietic approach and weathering of the wood. Also, what is worrying us most is the fact that the cladding is fitted on top of a ‘membrane’; we were under the impression that the timber frame house would be built and ‘breeze’ blocks being the last structure before the cladding was secured. Because we will need a small mortgage we are concerned that the building society will not lend on a wood clad structure. Any comments?

  2. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for you inquiry, I’m afraid this is not our field of expertise. We know all there is to know about using the right products to protect wooden cladding from the elements. But the engineering side of such things is not something that we deal with here at Wood Finishes Direct. Sorry we can not offer more advise.

  3. Cohen Jacobson Says:

    I’ve always loved these kinds of house designs, but honestly I have no knowledge or experience with them. I’m brushing up on it now because I’m very interested to have a home like this some day. I now know its important to take care of the wood for this particular design, especially to treat the wood before its assembled in the first place. Thank for the really informative article.

  4. Kate Carpenter Says:

    Our 2-story rear extension is soon to be clad — we are using Western Red Cedar tongue and groove vertical cladding on the first floor, and render on the ground floor. We are currently trying to decide what treatment to use (to be applied at the factory). We don’t want it to silver too much, as we like the reddish colour, and want the colour to be consistent all over.

    Any tips on what to use? e.g. a wood oil vs. a preservative vs. a lacquer. Obviously would like something that doesn’t need us to get up on a ladder every year to re-apply!

    The back face of the extension faces almost due south, so one side faces East and one faces West.
    Thanks!

  5. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Kate,

    For the best UV protection it is always adviced to apply a product with colour in it, as this acts like a sunscreen, the darker the colour the more protection it will provide. There are some clear oils such as Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra which will offer some protection but will require regular top ups particularly on south facing cladding.

    One product that I would recommend is the Sikkens Cetol 7 Plus. When applied correctly it will give around 5 years of protection. Here’a a video on the product. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  6. Rhonda Says:

    We have a rear patio wall (4.5 X 3m ) clad in horizontal cedar in London. It start some three years ago but is now showing white water staining from the planter boxes on the rooftop. There is no existing treatment on the cedar currently. Can you make recommend how we can best remove the white water staining and treat for future protection. Rhonda

  7. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Rhonda,

    Thank you for your inquiry, water stains can be difficult to remove and the best option really is to try scrubbing with water and then sanding. For protection you could have a look at Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative as a first coat treatment. This will protect against mould, mildew and rot that are nearly always the result of water ingress. And then for the top coat to give water repellency you could look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain which is available in a range of colours and clear. This combination will give great protection and is easy to maintain over time. Just apply a fresh layer every one to two years depending on weathering and wear, with out having to remove any of the previous product.

    I hope that helps and please feel free to get in touch should you have any further questions.

    Best wishes Sam.

  8. Leeanne Samuel Says:

    Hello my husband is currently building a summer house. We were looking at red cedar oak instead of pine. The cost of the oak is more than double. I would really appreciate if you can offer some advice. Do you get the same look with treatment from pine? Or are you best just going for the cedar. Apologies this is new to me.

    Thank you Leeanne

  9. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Leeanne,

    Cedar is a more popular choice for cladding, it is durable, lightweight, lasts longer and a popular colour for many people. It usually has red tones to it although many people like to leave the wood to silver naturally over time.

    However, we are not experts in cladding, but more the products that are best to use on the cladding, so it is difficult for me to advice what would be best for your project. Speaking to the supplier may help.

    But should you need any advice on which product would be best for your cladding and how to protect and prolong the life of your cladding please feel free to get in touch.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  10. Leeanne Samuel Says:

    Thank you very much for your help Sam

  11. Therese Ryan Says:

    Sam,
    Our house was built in Ireland (lots of rain) ten years ago and is clad in western red ceder. It is ageing beautifully, taking on a lovely silver hue. The problem is with the north facing side which is in a farmyard with an outbuilding on the LHS and facing it. For much of the winter months the timber is damp. The timber has a green mould/lichen on this side. Can you give me the name of a product to remove this and prevent it from reoccurring?

    Looking forward to your response
    Therese Ryan

  12. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Therese,

    Thank you for your inquiry, I would recommend that you look at Barrettine Mould and Mildew Cleaner to give the area a good clean and remove the mould, it will clean the wood well but may not remove any persistent stains, these may need sanding.

    Once you have the wood bare, clean and dry you can look at applying a Preservative. This is a preventative treatment for wood, protecting from mould, mildew and rot. It is available in clear or coloured and 1 or 2 coats can be applied. We also tend to recommend the application of a top coat oil to make the wood water repellent Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment is a good option for a clear finish or if you want a colour then Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain is another good option.

    I hope that helps and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  13. John Johnson Says:

    Hi,looking for some guidance.
    Moving into new house in the Scottish highlands which has quite a lot of larch cladding.
    Is it possible to maintain the natural colour rather than leave it to go the silver grey overtime.would applying a product such as Osmo uv protection oil extra benefit,or using a wood preservative such as Barrettine.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    John

  14. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello John,

    If the cladding is currently untreated then the Osmo UV Protection Oil Extra is an ideal product to consider. It can be applied to wood after an application of Preservative and to maintain the woods natural colour can be topped up every year or other year depending on the extent of the exposure to the sun and weather conditions, with out having to remove and start again. I hope that helps and please feel free to get back in touch if you have any further questions.

    Kindest Regards Sam.

  15. John Johnson Says:

    Much appreciated Sam
    John

  16. clueless Says:

    Hi,
    We are starting a build in the coming monthson a very exposed coastal location. The main building will be in sandstone. On the northern face of the building (west end) our architect has designed a wood clad (probably cedar) two story porch / entrance.
    I have two questions:
    1) Our preference is to allow the cedar to weather naturally to the silvery grey colour. Will this look good against a sandstone building? The sandstone has a lot of colour in it.
    2) Because the clad section is on the west end of the northern face I’m concerned about water damage and the wood not getting enough sunlight to keep it dry. We do want a low maintenance solution but also would appreciate any advise on what not to do given the positioning of the clad section.
    Appreciate any feed back.

  17. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello,

    You could look at using Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative. It is available in a clear finish and will protect from mould, mildew and rot. And then Barrettine Teak Oil for water repellency.

    The Teak Oil has no UV filters in it and because it is clear it will allow the wood to silver naturally a little quicker than some of the other oils. Any particularly exposed areas will need more regular top ups with the oil, to keep the woods protection and water repellency. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions do please let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  18. Katie Harrold Says:

    Hi, we have just built a straw bale and oak frame house and the top third of the building (externally) is clad in oak. We have oiled it prior to being fitted but would be interested in your recommendations for long term maintenance. Most importantly would be a product that doesn’t require annual ‘top ups’ as the house is three stories and will require scaffolding or cherry picker to access the oak cladding.
    Many thanks,
    Katie

  19. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Katie,

    As you have already applied an oil to it, you will have to continue with this products now as you can not apply varnishes or other seals over an oil. If you would like to email me with further details of what you have used and I can advise from there. You can email to wood@finishes.direct

    Kind regards Sam.

  20. Rob Says:

    I am using rough sawn locally grown Scottish Larch to clad a house in a coastal location.
    The building has sizeable ovehangs at the eaves and I am concerned that the cladding will be partially shaded and not weather evenly. Also, I prefer the fresh cut look of larch anyway.
    What product(s) would you recommend for me to maintain the appearance of the cladding?

    Thanks

    Rob

  21. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Rob,

    The first thing I would recommend is a good Preservative to protect from mould, mildew and rot. And then an oil such as Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment will give UV Protection and water repellency. For the area that is exposed to more sunlight and weather you can treat more regularly than the sheltered area. Test areas are vital and if you have any other questions please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  22. Daniel Says:

    Hello,

    I’m hoping to clad the interior of my music studio with softwood tongue and groove cladding.

    I am thinking of using pine it a similar light softwood.

    What would you recommend to coat the pine with and would this be applied before fixing to walls?

    I would prefer a clear coat with maybe a slight sheen.

    Regards,
    Daniel

  23. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Daniel,

    There are a couple of options depending on the type of look and finish that you are hoping to achieve. A Varnish will seal on the surface of the wood and is the most durable finish. It will darken and enhance the natural tones of the wood. Wiping a damp cloth over the surface will give an indication of how much.

    Alternatively you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil which is also very durable and hard wearing but gives a more natural look and feel to the wood. Again it will darken the wood. Test areas are vital but if you find it darkens or oranges the pine to much there is one more alternative: Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural is designed to counteract the darkening. Have a read up on the products and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  24. chris Says:

    Hi
    I have clad our house with 6 x 1 larch boards in a shiplap style and have started to treat with osmo oil uv. Having just used bought one 2.5 litre tin and found that it only covers approx 15 m2 as opposed to the 45m2 advertised and facing the prospect of over 200m2 with two coats im beginning to baulk at the potential cost. I am now thinkijng of trying something like danish oil as an initial coat then going on with the osmo as a second which would then hopefully not soak in quite as much and go further. any thoughts on this would be helpful, have also noticed you recommending the log cabin treatment to some, this maybe an initial solution while funds are spent on finishing the inside of the house, just not sure if the log cabin treatment would be similiar in effect as the osmo? (have already bought 5l of liberons decking oil but it is much more like a caramel coloured stain than the clear finish it suggests, so much so that I called their technical dept to say there has been a mistake, but they insisted that it is clear although appears like caramel!??

    many thanks
    chris

  25. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Chris,

    This kind of absorption rate indicates dry wood or a very open grain. Rough sawn wood will also absorb more oil. That said when this occurs it is often unnecessary to apply a second coat of the oil.

    You could continue with the Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment as this is a clear oil and there should be little difference in look, although I can not guarantee that. But it is a more cost effective way to protect the wood. Always try a test area first and do let me know if you have any further questions.

    All the Best Sam.

  26. Eric P Says:

    Hi,

    I am self-building my house, and have decided to go with a partial timber cladding, however I would like to keep the cladding to the same colour as when applied, and not the silver/greying ageing effect like this house’s cladding came to be, seen on this picture:

    Which product do you recommend to apply to keep the original looks and how often should it be applied to protect the timber? Thanks so much for your help!!!

  27. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Eric,

    I would recommend a good quality preservative first Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative. This will protect the wood from mould, mildew and rot.

    Once this is dry you could have a look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain to give water repellency, colour and protection. Oils are advised for cladding as they are easy to maintain over time by simply applying a fresh coat when you feel that the wood needs it, without the need to strip back to bare wood. And it will not peel and flake over time.

    It can be difficult to prevent silvering if you use a clear product to protect, there are UV filters in a clear oil but they have limitations and need regular top ups, by applying a pigment this increases the UV protection levels. The Natural Oil Woodstain has a great range of colours that can help to keep a similar colour to the original. I hope that helps and please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  28. John Says:

    Hi Sam
    I have just ordered some Western Red Cedar to clad the rear of a South facing garage extension. I would like to maintain the colour and finish and to prevent it turning grey. In Eric P’s picture above, the house on the left looks exactly the finish I would like to acheive. I was considering using Sikken’s Cetol Filter 7 plus but to obtain UV protection they don’t make a transluscent product. Light Oak colouring may be acceptable but I’m concerned with tampering with the natural colour of the wood. What would you suggest?
    Thanking you in anticipation,
    John

  29. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello John,

    The Sikkens Cetol 7 Filter Plus is a very durable, long lasting finish that will colour and protect well for a number of years. It offers good UV Protection as well as water repellency. For bare wood I would also recommend a base coat of the Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus these two together will give great protection.

    Alternatively you could look at the Osmo Natural Oil Woodstain that I recommended to Eric. It is an oil that absorbs into the wood. It is not as long lasting as the Sikkens, but has the benefit of being easier to maintain over time. There is no need to strip back to bare wood to retreat, simply reapply a fresh coat of oil when it is clean and dry. The Natural Oil Woodstain is also available in a range of colours. If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  30. Maggie Fyffe Says:

    Hello we have a large detached house in a very exposed position which gets the brunt of the wind, rain and sun. We have clad with red cedar horizontal cladding on every aspect – approx 150m2. We applied Osmo UV protection oil prior to fitting the cladding 6 years ago and have since topped this up on the South, East and West aspects. It’s now peeling off in large patches in places back to the bare wood on these 3 areas, though it’s doing fine on the North side which we didn’t top up. We’d really like to keep the warm brown colour but wondering if we should change to a different product as having to sand down and reapply every 3-5 years will cost us a fortune as we’re on 3 floors so we’d also need to put scaffolding up each time etc too. Could you suggest other options? Should we give in and accept going grey? And if so what should we do now?
    Thanks
    Maggie

  31. Sam Says:

    Hello Maggie,

    Thank you for your enquiry. It can be difficult to hold back the natural silvering process that occurs with cladding particularly when it is pretty exposed area. Clear products, although have UV Filters, will offer limited protection and require regular top ups to maintain the UV protection. I suspect that the regular maintenance that you have done, although the correct thing to do, has resulted in over application of the oil. Peeling and flaking of the oil is a sign that the oil has not soaked into the surface of the wood as it should, it has dried on the surface and this has resulted in the peeling that you have experienced.

    It would be fair to say that if you apply a coloured finish to the cladding this will improve the UV protection the darker the colour the better the protection, however even a light pigment will increase the protection level.

    You could have a look at the Sikkens range. Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus as a base coat and then the Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 Plus. This is a ideal combination to be applied to bare wood and will last longer than the oil for sure. It can be topped up for maintenance as long as the seal does not break and it starts to flake as this will then require a full strip and re treatment. But in terms of longevity and durability it give a bit more than the oil.

    Essentially the Osmo ranges and the Sikkens are the one that come highly recommended so you are looking at the right products, it just depends on which suits your needs better. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  32. Mel Says:

    Hi, Please help, my son and i were working in a garden of a house with a new extension with a horizontal larch cladding and as we were taking out some rubbish we put a long but not very deep scratch in the timber. We have told the client we will sort it out but really don’t know how to go about this. should we try to sand it out at a risk of discolouring some areas of wood?

  33. Sam Says:

    Hello Mel,

    Are you able to send me a photo of the damaged area and I will happily take a look and see if I can make any suggestions. Also if you are able to find out what is currently on the wood this may help with a patch repair. You can email me at wood@finishes.direct

    All the Best Samantha.

  34. Joel Says:

    Hi, my house is clad in western red cedar but had not aged well due to pollution in London. Recently I sanded back and applied 3 coats of Sadolin extra duarBle clear coat in satin finish. It looks great but am concerned after reading your article how long it will last. Any experience with this? Also would like to stain my decking to compliment all the cedar cladding. Any ideas on colours?

  35. Sam Says:

    Hello Joel,

    Thank you for your enquiry. The Sadolin Extra Durable Clearcoat that you have used is suitable for cladding and is a very durable finish and should give good protection to your wood. It is worth checking regularly to ensure no damage has occurred or breaks in the seal. Any damage that allows moisture in will result in the varnish flaking away, so will be best repaired as quick as possible, but otherwise it will give a good protection.

    For the decking you may find that a Decking Oil is a great option, it is easier to repair and maintain over time. With a high traffic and exposed area such as decking it is susceptible to quick wear and tear and the oils are far easier to maintain over time.

    I hope that helps and if you need any further advice please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  36. Andrea Michael Says:

    Hi,

    We have some exterior wood, but don’t know what kind of wood it is, nor whether it has ever been treated. What would you recommend we do? Is there any way of telling? The wood is quite silvery (which we quite like, so were thinking we would use the Barrettine Wood preservative and then Osmo UV protection oil extra – does that sound ok? Or would natural oil woodstain be better? Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks

  37. Sam Says:

    Hello Andrea,

    If the wood has not been topped up or maintained for a while then it is likely that it will accept those products readily, but to be sure a test area should be carried out. You could also apply just water and if this is absorbed this will indicate that there is nothing repelling the water.

    See how you get on with those and if you have any further questions please feel free to let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  38. Lorraine Says:

    We have a colt timber frame bungalow built in 1962 and purchased in 2015. In the last 20 years someone painted the cedar a dark brown colour blvd to be oil based and it is fading on the weather prone sides (2) and still solid on the more protected sides

    In September 2016 a local builder replaced the south facing side with new insulation and new cedar when he reinstalled some badly fitting patio doors. This cedar is now showing some concerning flaws and damage from significant gaps between some joins ( weather dependent) bore ? holes and knots that are or have fallen out leaving, or which will leave significant gaps. We have contacted the builder who has contacted the wood supplier and we await a response. What should we expect to be a realistic remedy. What are the issues we will/could face, should address?

    We had intended to re-clad the other weather prone side but our concerns about the problems with the cedar have made us think painting a better option on all three sides with a view to hiding the dark brown and making it more aesthetically attractive as the original 1962 cedar is looking more robust than the new stuff.

    What would you recommend please ?

  39. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Lorraine,

    I am sorry to say that this is a little beyond my expertise and you will be better waiting to see the results of the inquiry with the suppliers. I would be happy to advice on finishing products for the old or new cladding should you need it and you could have a look at our range of wood fillers that may be able to help if you find you need to fill any gaps or knot holes.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  40. Graeme Says:

    Hi,
    I am cladding a barn conversion with Siberian larch with a batten on board vertical design . The boards are untreated ( the treatment was going to double the total cost if done in the factory ) I now have them in my shed and they will be installed in a few months time. It looks good stuff not a lot of knots and some nice colours , not too much bright “pine” . It will stick out like a sore thumb on an exposed hill top at first so I reckon a slow silveryness would be fine but if it looks rubbishy in 5 years time I might regret not giving it a treatment while its sat in my shed easily accessible . What do you think my options are ?
    Thanks

  41. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Graeme,

    Thank you for your enquiry. Its worth a lot of thought, as get the colour wrong from the start it can be difficult to change in the future. Many people like to allow their wood to naturally silver, this is after all a natural product and its natural process once turned into a useful timber is to silver. There are many products that will slow this down including clear products such as the Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment. A clear will need regular top ups to maintain the woods natural colour however and it is fair to say that the best UV filters come from coloured treatments, the darker the colour the more protection it will give.

    Essentially what colour you go for will be down to personal preference, but if you would like further advice on the products that will suit your needs do feel free to get in touch.

    All the Best Samantha.

  42. Ben Says:

    Hi, we have cladding in a large area of our house. We bought the house a year ago and the cladding went On about 6 months before that. It looked beautiful to begin with but it now starting to fade. I don’t know what the cladding is but I do know it was done on a budget so is likely to be the cheapest option! Ideally I would love to get it back to the bright colour it was before and protect it so it maintains its colour. How can o do this? Which product is best? Thanks in advance – ben

  43. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Ben,

    Are you able to send me a photo of the cladding ? And do you know if it has any treatment on it or what type of wood it is made from ? This may help to narrow down how to move forward with your project. You can email me at wood@finishes.direct

    Many Thanks Samantha.

  44. Geordie Says:

    Hi I am about to build a feather edge scottish larch building what do you recomend to treat this with?

    Thanks Geordie

  45. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Geordie,

    There are a wide range of products you could use. And if you would like to email me with details of the type of finish you are looking to achieve, what colour, if you would like to see the wood grain with a transparent finish or a more opaque paint like finish. You can email me at wood@finishes.direct.

    Many Thanks Samantha.

  46. Tracey Says:

    Hello

    We are cladding a shed in sawn hardwood timber and wanted to know if we have to treat with a UV protector before we install. Most websites say we have to treat the timber before installation but can you explain what the benefits are for doing this as it will be easier for us to do this once installed. Also is it recommended to treat all sides of the wood with a UV protector or just the sides that will be exposed to the weather.

    Many thanks Tracey

  47. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Tracey,

    For many people it is easier to treat the wood before installation, this can allow easy access to all area of the wood and for many treatment on both sides, to prolong the wood. This is down to personal preference however and should you wish to build the shed first and then apply the treatment this is also okay. Many sheds are set against fences or walls and this mean access to some areas are prohibited which is why they apply finishes first.

    Most people will only treat exterior parts of a shed, but for some the extra protection on the inside is reassuring and can make the life of the wood longer. This can be with a preservative or an oil but the UV filters are not really of any benefit to the interior as these are purely for slowing down the silvering process.

    So really its down to personal preference, as long as the exterior areas are protected it will be fine.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  48. Glyn Says:

    Hi we are looking for some help and advise on cladding and material, i have looked at the scottish larch and the siberian larch but not sure which one would be the best, Is there a big difference between the two ? I want to treat with natural oil also, Any advise ?

  49. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Glyn,

    Thanks for getting in touch. In regards to which Larch is the best, this is not my field of expertise I am afraid. The manufacturers of the cladding are the best people to ask. In regards to a product to finish treating it I can recommend a number of products to help prevent mould, mildew and rot starting with a good quality preservative, followed by a top coat of an oil to help make the wood moisture repellent and slow down the silvering process caused by UV damage. Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment is a clear option that will enhance the grain and give a warm finish to the cladding.

    If you have a look at the two recommendations and I am here to help if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  50. Tom Says:

    Hi, I live in a development that is partially clad externally with red cedar wood. A survey on the development indicated that as part of the maintenance, the red cedar should be treated. The architects for the development, which is now 18 years old, have indicated, however, that the cedar wood cladding requires no treatment and should be left to weather naturally.
    Who is right? Can you advise on what you would recommend?
    Kind regards,
    Tom

  51. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Tom,

    Thank you for your enquiry. Its a difficult one for me to answer, Cedar is used for cladding because it does not require treatment and can infact improve in durability with age. This will depend on the type of cedar and where it is from. So the general consensus is that Cedar should not need a treatment.

    18 years is a reasonable amount of time however and depending on how exposed the cladding is, it is possible that it will benefit from a treatment. Preservatives will help to prevent mould and mildew forming and oils can help to prevent moisture from absorbing into the wood. And Oils will help to make the wood moisture repellent.

    I can’t say for sure that the answer to your question is yes or no, sorry, but if you have any questions please do feel free to email me at wood@finishes.direct and I will be happy to try to assist further.

    All the best Samantha.

  52. Vicky Says:

    Hi Tom,

    we are planning to build our own house and the architect has designed it with cladding on all four sides. We would like to use Siberian larch but are not sure about the finish yet.

    Either we would like it to turn into a silvery grey, but we would like an even finish i.e. not blotchy or we would like to keep the natural colour of the timber or stain it with a natural looking colour. Which option do you think will require the least maintenance and what will this maintenance consist of? What will be the least expensive?

  53. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Vicky,

    Thank you for your enquiry. Allowing the wood to silver naturally is a popular choice with many people and this can mean low maintenance. I would still recommend a preservative such as the Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative to help prevent mould and mildew and this can be spray applied if you have the appropriate machine.

    To maintain the natural colour of the wood will take a fair amount of regular work. Particularly if you apply a clear finish. Clear finishes such as Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment do slow down the silvering process caused by UV. To give you an idea, a clear treatment is like a factor 10 in sun cream and you will need to regularly top up. To increase the factor you need to add colour and the darker the colour the higher the protection.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    All the Best Samantha.

  54. Luke Says:

    Hello,

    I’m planning to refresh cladding around the house but don’t ha e a knowledge how it was treated before and hoping you would be able to give me some advice please?

    Don’t know what’s the wiod really and what products has been used previously.

    Please check the photos:
    1.
    https://serving.photos.photobox.com/21991794d5724b7ecea956ed07cc8fd21dc97198d0bcbb1b0e71c7c09813b47be9115834.jpg
    2.
    https://serving.photos.photobox.com/98433853792d30c7e0a49786ede8b1006aac5e9c23a2e1efc129aa0b84bfd78c6cec7d11.jpg
    3.
    https://serving.photos.photobox.com/95233050e7875f6e322861bce07e3fa0c3ec7389d212d9ecc0b56df31a271e7c352a6eb0.jpg

    I’m hoping for your help and apreciate any advice from you guys.

    Thanks Luke

  55. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Luke,

    It can be difficult to advice on such projects when it is unclear what the current treatment is or what the wood type is. My best advice will be to sand back to bare wood and this will open up your options for products to consider.

    A popular choice for cladding on building is the Sikkens ranges, and for cladding we recommend three coats of the Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus It is a durable finish that will give UV protection with the colour and help to maintain a moisture repellent finish.

    If you have any further questions I am here to help.

    All the Best Samantha.

  56. Claire Montague Says:

    Hi Luke, we are about to start a new build in the Highlands with Siberian Larch cladding on all aspects. We were initially going for Sioo-x treatment but due to budget constraints think we may need to drop this. We are happy for the wood to silver over time, but want to avoid the uneven weathering we have seen on a lot of local timber clad buildings. What would you suggest as our best solution, bearing in mind that as we are aiming to live in this house well into old age, low maintenance is preferred.
    Thanks, Claire

  57. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Claire,

    Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. We do not have any products like the Sioo, I’m afraid but a popular choice for cladding is the Sikkens Cetol range. The Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus three coat of this can give a few years of protection before the need to top up and refresh. It is more of a surface sealer however it does soak into the surface a little and so have better grip than other surface sealers and if less likely to peel and flake.

    The alternative will be an Oil such as Barrettine Log Cabin Treatment this is a penetrative oil in clear, it is easier to maintain but is likely to need a top up coat annually.

    If you have a look at the details of the product and feel free to get back to me with any questions you may have. Always try a test area first.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  58. DEBRA WILLIAMSON Says:

    Hi Luke,
    we had our extension clad with cedar, i was advised to use Osmo protection, unfortunately i don’t like the colour, is it ok to paint over the cedar using a good timber paint/
    Regards
    Debra

  59. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Debra,

    Thank you for getting in touch with your questions. I would not recommend applying a paint over an Osmo finish, you are likely to get adhesion issues. You will need to remove the oil by scrubbing with White Spirits or sanding. The other option will be to wait for a few months and carry out an oil test to see if the wood will take another coat of oil. If it will you are able to apply an alternate colour, you can not lighten however and the current colour will have an impact on any new colour applied.

    For further advice and information on the products please feel free to cal and speak to one of our friendly advisers on 01303 213 838.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  60. Paul Watson Says:

    Just installed a load of western red ceder on a new build unfortunately during the current British heatwave. No option I’m afraid, working to a programme and couldnt afford to wait as the necessary scaffolding is holding up the job. Surely you dont want to install in rain either.

    Thinking of applying a one time treatment like Owatrol Seasonall then nothing thereafter. On point of the WRC was it endurance, yet there is plenty of expert advice saying always treat every few years, and plenty saying no need to treat. Why is there no consensus, or is this driven by manufactuerers pushing their products.

  61. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Paul,

    It would be fair to say that pinning down a more precise set of guidelines for the treatment and care of cladding, or in fact any external wood is very difficult and there are so many factors that can and will impact on any exterior projects.

    Type and condition, exposure to all the elements, do you want the wood to silver naturally or maintain its new fresh colour? Are you able to keep up maintenance or is the it inaccessible after complete? These are just a small example of reasons that mean that it is very difficult to get a concurrence in the advice given.

    Western Red Cedar is a durable wood for cladding and for many will last 30 years plus with out any treatment, it will silver naturally over time and for many this is the desired look. For some a preservative such as Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative will give a little extra piece of mind as it will help to prevent mould, mildew and rot.

    Or for even more protection that will last longer the Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus three coats can give a strong colour to prevent the silvering of UV damage and will last a number of years before a refresher coat is required.

    I am not familiar with the Owatrol so its difficult to say if this is the best option for you but if you do have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us Page.

    All the Best Samantha.

  62. Davide Says:

    Hello,

    I have just built a new Scottish larch timber garage (vertical cladding – rough sawn wood).. I have now decided to treat it with some Osmo UV protection oil extra. After the second coat, I have the feeling that the wood is not properly protected (it is a just a little darker) and I was wondering if more than 2 coats are needed. I have also noticed that the wood is absorbing a lot, without changing that much in appearance (which is good). I would like to end up with a durable protection to preserve the colour and the quality of the wood since we live in Scotland (lots of rain).

    Thanks for your help.

  63. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Davide,

    Two coats is usually all that is required, however some soft woods or rough woods will absorb more, and coverage would be less. I suspect as you are treating rough sawn this is the case and we would not normally recommend Osmo as this can be a costly treatment. Some of the more cost effective Decking Oils would also do a good job.

    The best way to test, is expose a inconspicuous area to moisture and see if the oil does its job and repels it. If not a third coat may be necessary, it is important that the oil is absorbed well into the wood as any that dries on the surface will not give sufficient protection and could peel and flake over time.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  64. Melanie Minns Says:

    Hi can anyone help.i had a larch cladding on a north facing extension put in two years ago. After it was installed i treated it with sioo protection which started to silver it up nicely. Over the last two years though each time it rains the larch goes a horrid salmon pink colour and what looks like black mold dirt appears all over it. I have started to pressure wash it which has helped to remove the mold but now dont know what to retreat it with to regain its silver appearance and although the people at sioo have been helpful they have said it couldnt have been their product..any advice?

  65. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Melanie,

    I really wish I could help you in this matter, but I am not familiar with Sioo products and how they work with the wood.

    Larch can have a natural pink tone to it and this will be highlighted if the wood gets wet and if the wood is getting wet this could indicate that the treatment is not repelling moisture as it should.

    I am sorry that I cannot be of more help to you but if you need any recommendations for alternative products should you choose to remove the Sioo, then please feel free to call and speak to one of our friendly advisers on 01303 213 838.

    All the Best Samantha.

  66. Rachel George Says:

    Hi – I had a workshop built in the garden last winter, which was clad with Siberian larch. It’s looking great and starting to fade & silver nicely. However in one area there’s been a problem with the roofline which means that water has been dribbling down and that has left nasty grey water stains in a streak. The workshop builder is coming back to deal with the faulty roof edging so that should prevent this happening in future – meanwhile what can I use to get the stain out with? I don’t want to treat the whole surface to stop it silvering – I just want to remove the black streak. Will oxalic acid work and if so in what sort of dilution do you think?

  67. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Rachel,

    Water Stains can be a pain to get rid of. Oxalic acid may help to remove the stain for sure, you could potentially end up with a lighter patch in the treated area and it may take any treatments differently, this may or may not be very noticeable depending on the woods type and the Oxalic. A test area would be recommended.

    For measurements of dilution, you will need to follow the guidelines on the product. And if you need any advice on finishing products please feel free toget in touch via our contact us page.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  68. Mathew Lines Says:

    Hi Samantha, last week my builder installed 70m2 of Character Grade Featherfge cladding. Due to time pressures we didn’t treat this. I was just wondering what the best approach would be in order to protect this. It looks like the Oak has only recently been sawn. Should I wait until the spring/warmer/drier weather comes before doing anything. Ideally, I am looking for a slightly rustic style but a little darker than it comes naturally. Thanks in advance, Mat

  69. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Matt,

    We would often recommend treatment as soon as possible for exterior projects to avoid the wood developing mould, mildew or rot. However if the wood is fairly freshly cut my concern would be to moisture content. And if there is still a high moisture content then you will need to allow the wood to weather. Apply a treatment to ‘green’ wood will seal in the moisture and cause problems fairly quickly.

    Once the wood is ready for treatment I would recommend a product such as the Barrettine Premier Wood Preservative not only help to prevent mould and rot it contains some wax to repel moisture.

    We do often recommend a top coat product for exterior projects however with a feather board rustic look you, two coats of this will suffice. And you can top up annually or bi annually when you feel the wood needs it.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  70. Ross Says:

    Hi, just under a year ago we completed a house build, the external finish is vertical Siberian Larch cladding. However, there were some section that were not completed by the main contractor. We had someone else come back to finish the cladding, what we have now noticed is that the nails in the later pieces of cladding have produced long stain runs. Can you help with following please:
    1. Can the stains be removed?
    2. Can I pull off the piece and put them back on with the right nails (the ones used everywhere else on the cladding)
    3. What nails would they by, or rather what nails would you recommend?
    Thanks

  71. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Morning Ross,

    Thank for getting in touch with your enquiry. I would definitely recommend removing them and replacing with nails that are suitable for exterior use, I am not sure of the type you should get, but any local hardware store will be able to point you in the right direction.

    One option is to try using baking soda and lemon juice to remove rust stains from wood, and if this fails then perhaps some oxalic acid, that can also be found at a local Hardware/DIY store. Always try a test area first.

    I hope that help and of course if you have any other questions please do let me know.

    All the Best Samantha.

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