Timber Cladding Lifecycle Costs
Even when faced with Australia’s extreme weather conditions, there are some simple ways to ensure timber cladding lasts, without excess maintenance and cost.
A textured timber will hold a finish more readily. Bandsawn, brushed or sanded timbers provide a surface for the coating to cling to, which makes the finish less likely to break away or wear off.
Painted timbers should be layered with primer and at least two top coats, and this will need to be re-done at least every five years. Colour can have an impact too - lighter colours and grey tones weather better than darker shades.
A stable timber will not move with the temperature and moisture gauge, which is the main issue for the lifespan of finishes. Vertical grain timbers, often known as quartersawn, will hold their shape more readily than traditional wood. Abodo’s Vulcan timber undergoes a thermal modification process which, along with its vertical grain pattern, provides heightened stability.
Choice of finishes
Finishes that penetrate the wood will last longer when exposed to the elements. Choosing a natural finish that will patina or age over time will also lessen the need for maintenance.
Abodo’s Sioo:x is applied onto the timber before the cladding is installed and will slowly fade to a silver tone, but without the messy, uneven aesthetic associated with uncoated cedar. Sioo:x is a silicate-based surface coating that mineralises the surface of the wood. As a thin liquid, it is easy to apply.
Lifecycle of finishes
Sioo:x need only be reapplied every seven years, which when compared to a four-year lifecycle for Protector Oil coatings, is a significant savings.
Over a 30 year lifecycle, an average home with cladding coated in Protector Oil products will require 7.5 recoats, compared to just 4.2 for a Sioo:x -finished house. The cost difference for maintenance of the timber cladding over those 30 years works out to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
There is no way around the need for regular house washing to keep timber cladding looking good and to remove any mould or dirt. This should be done annually to extend the life cycle of the timber. There are many companies who specialise in this service, or Abodo’s Rejuvenator is a great choice for those who like a bit of DIY.
Climate and architecture
Design elements may extend the lifecycle of timber cladding in exterior applications, such as the addition of eaves and the orientation of the house away from north or northwesterly exposure.
However, in Australia, many of our houses are exposed to the most extreme weather conditions, no matter which way they are facing. Choosing a timber cladding that requires less maintenance over its 30 year lifespan will pay dividends and cause less headaches in the future.