How Timber Cladding Weathers – All You Need to Know

Over time all materials start to show their age. Being constantly exposed to the elements will eventually weather even the toughest materials.

Timber cladding is no exception to this rule. If looked after correctly, there is no reason certain species of timber cladding could last around 50 years. Over time the look of the cladding will change as it is exposed to sun, rain, wind and cold weather.

It is important that anyone planning to use timber cladding in their projects understand that over time the look of the wood will mature and the effect that this process can have on the build.

Once in place, timber is exposed to the elements. Rain, moisture and sun all effect the properties of the wood and cause weathering over time. The first noticeable effects of timber weathering are temporary staining of the timber. This is caused by extracts in the wood raising to the surface and oxidising. During this process, the surface of the timber will also become rough.

When treated correctly and planned for the ageing of timber can really complement the build giving a distinguished look to the project.

Factors that affect weathering:

The Design:

Depending on how the project is designed you can take steps to delay the effects of weathering on your timber. If the timber cladding on the building is sheltered from rain or on a side that receives less sunlight, the effects of weathering will be slowed. Any timber that is positioned to take the brunt of the weather will show its effects sooner.

It is important that you take the use of timber cladding into account when planning your build.

Location:

Location, location, location! Not only of the property but the cladding too! If your project is on top of a hill or in a particularly harsh environment, then it is expected to feel the effects of weathering sooner.

If you are planning a build that is exposed to high winds and you are looking to delay the weathering effect on the timber, it might be better to install the timber on a more sheltered side of the building.

You can also plan this effect with landscaping. By planting trees to shelter or shade the building, you will reduce the effects of the elements on the building directly.

Can you prevent weathering?

Weathering is a very attractive feature of cladding and it shows off the natural elements to the material.

However, if you to want to treat/slow the process there are options. Timber cladding can be treated with clear or coloured treatment to slow the process of ageing.

Picking the right specie 

The rate that a timber weathers can depend on how hard waring the specie is. Inherently, wood that comes from trees that naturally grow in harsher environments will be more resilient to the weather.

Larch, Douglas Fir and Cedar are naturally moderately durable, most hardwoods are durable, so as a guide these species may not need to be treated.

European Redwood and European Whitewood will need to be treated through our NORclad Lite or NORclad Brunnea High-Pressure treatment facilities, where we can offer a green or brown finish.

For more information on treatments and the effects of weathering on timber cladding please contact our team today.