Wood will always be a prominent material for cladding exteriors. Dressed in oak, cedar, or the like, a building can jump forwards or backwards a hundred years and still be in vogue. Wood siding sits at a high price point but is a reliable investment for anyone seeking value in their building, commercial or residential. It requires a healthy amount of maintenance and attention while remaining forgiving when it comes to repair.
Would your property benefit from wood cladding? This article will outline the pros and cons of this popular cladding solution, from looks to durability, to cost.
Wood Siding: Goods and Bads
Use of wood for construction dates back to the neolithic era, and its look is yet to fall out of style! When it comes to aesthetics, here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing wood.
Wood is warm, inviting, and the most natural of all siding products. It is a great option if you want a building to feel at home in the forest, or if you seek to bring the organic look into the city. Wood covers a broad category of cladding products, and you will have many options to get the aesthetics just right.
Choose bright ashwood, dark spruce, or the countless options which fall in between. The diversity of wood allows for siding that compliments or contrasts with supplementary cladding materials and the surrounding environment.
Design freedom does not end with the choice of wood. Wood cladding is easy to paint, stain, and finish to your heart’s desire. Choices of color are limited only by stock at the local paint store, and wood is easily repaintable when the latest design idea comes to mind.
If you want the natural knotty look that makes wood the iconic building material that it is, stains and finishes are the way to go. Staining preserves the organic appeal of wood and accentuates its natural color.
Nature has drawn growth rings, burl grains, stripes, and circles, that are one-of-a-kind art pieces. A building’s wood siding oozes with character, unlike anything that could stand in its place.
Keeping wood siding looking its best requires attention and maintenance. Paint, stains, and finishes look great on wood siding, but depending on where you live, they will need to be touched up every few years. Any downside to wood’s innate appearance stems from personal preference, but the ugliness of wood that has been left uncared for is unanimous. This gets us to the durability of wood siding.
The greatest risk to wood is rot. Rot is a common disease in all plant based materials: wood siding is no exception. Moisture can lead to fungal growth that can turn any solid wood exterior into mush, if you are not diligent about fixing the problem when it first arrives.
Animals can also become an issue. From woodpeckers to termites, many creatures have traits that allow them to eat or burrow through wood. The difference between a tree and the walls of your building may not be apparent to them, leading to damage ranging from miniscule to detrimental.
This is why Thermally Modified Wood (TMW) comes highly-recommended. TMW, as its name suggests, is produced using a heating process known as pyrolysis. Wood is cooked in a low oxygen environment at temperatures surpassing 180 °C. It does not combust, due to the lack of oxygen, but instead enjoys increased durability.
TMW rises above the common problems listed above. Where raw wood is flawed by fragility, TMW is rot-resistant, termite-resistant, and moisture repellent. With TMW you can mitigate the disadvantages of wood and instead enjoy all the benefits this cladding material has to offer.
Dedicating a small amount of time to regularly check the status of your wood siding goes a long way in keeping it beautiful. The bright side of rot is that it does not occur overnight, but rather over time. Its arrival on your building is telegraphed by mildew and mold, so being proactive will lengthen the lifespan of your wood cladding.
Regularly checking your building for holes left by small creatures is easy, and can save a world of trouble in the long term. These are simply remedied, with the use of wood putty that is readily available at the local hardware store.
A great feature of wood siding is that problematic planks can be removed before damage spreads. Switching out small swatches of wood is non invasive to the cladding as a whole. So while wood siding can be vulnerable to damage, maintenance is forgiving to those who are proactive.
Thermally Modified Wood heightens these benefits, by making an incredibly robust and durable material out of raw wood. With TMW, many of these fixes will not even be necessary in the long life of your exterior!
Wood is a finite resource, which must be logged, cut, treated, shipped, fabricated, and installed on your building. The many complex steps to turning a tree into siding–plus the availability of a certain species of tree in your region–make wood siding one of the most expensive cladding options.
Wood brings value to a property. Take flooring as an example. If a home has hardwood floors, realtors are likely to let you know within the first paragraph of its listing. The same can be said about cladding. Wood’s century-proven reputation as a design staple means that its appeal is immune to fast-moving trends. Wood siding holds its value for years to come, provided it is diligently cared for.
Natural wood siding is a great cladding choice, provided you are familiar with the routine steps for keeping it beautiful. As with all cladding solutions, there are pros and cons: Wiedehopf wants you to have cladding that enhances the look and value of your building, and our siding experts are always happy to discuss the best options with you.
When it comes to Thermally Modified Wood, we are a one-stop-shop that can help you move from design to installation with ease. Give us a call at +1(905) 761 9791, to explore what wood siding can offer your property!