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What Are The Pros & Cons of External Timber Cladding

If this is the first blog you are reading of ours, here’s a quick introduction to who we are and how we can help you find the perfect timber cladding. With 22 years of experience in the timber industry and 15 years specialising in ThermoWood’s, we like to bring education to those interested in cladding their house whether that be externally or internally so you have all the knowledge to help them make the best decision. Therefore, we wanted to share the pros and cons of timber materials.


Pros:


Low Maintenance.

ThermoWood’s have a 25-30 plus yrs. life span and need very little maintenance. If your cladding is situated low to the ground, it may be prone to dirt splashes, a sponge over with washing-up liquid and a hose off should be adequate in removing this. If you want to keep your timber’s natural colour then we recommend using Messmers UV Plus Oil every 6-18 months depending on how much sunlight your timber is exposed to.


Quality.

Thermowood is the thermal modification process the timber goes through using a combination of vacuum, pressure, high heat treatment, and steam which means twisting, bending, and warping have been reduced to a minimum and the timber only has 5-7% moisture content. All of the natural resins, sugars and impurities are removed; therefore insect decay has been prevented because the timber know longer provides a food source for insects. The quality of the timber is of a better clear grade standard than those that aren’t thermally modified.


Variety.

There is a wide variety of ThermoWood timber species available alongside many different finishes. From hardwoods like Ash, Iroko, Tulip, and Ayous to Softwoods like Pine and Radiata Pine. With varying colours and grain structures, you have the ability to find the perfect timber for you. Our technicians are always available to help you along the way.


Environment.

The Thermal modification (ThermoWood) process the timber goes through, means that you know longer need to just consider using Amazonian tropical timbers. Because this technological process is used on timbers that would normally perish in an outdoor environment it allows the introduction of new timber species into the market for external and internal applications which reduces the world's dependency on tropical rainforests.


Cons:


Cost.

Thermally modified timbers allow us to use non-Amazonian species. These include Ash, Tulip, Ayous, Iroko, and Pine which provide excellent stability and 25 - 30+ years of durability. Grain, texture, and colouring vary widely from a honey brown to a dark brown. This is due to the caramelising of the sugars as they are drawn out of the timber. Therefore, the quality of the finished product is superior to those timbers that have not been through the Thermowood process which is why you will pay more, we have a whole blog about budgeting for your material here. We offer part payments to allow our customers to spread the cost of the timber from purchase up until machining and further finishing.


Milling supply chains.

Lead times on purchasing sawn packs of timber of different species, widths, thicknesses and lengths are all improving since covid but demand is higher than ever before so these factors have to be allowed for when ordering as the infinite combinations that timber provides will not automatically be sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased.


Storage.

You are going to want to order your material in more time than at pre-2018 levels, so it is ready for when you want to install it, however, you may not have enough room to store the timber at your home and the last thing you want is waiting too far down the line to order your material and have delays on site waiting for your material to arrive. We know this can be a difficult challenge for our customers which is why we offer free storage holding, so you can place your order when it is convenient for you (we suggest as early as possible) and it will be black wrapped up, strapped on a pallet, labelled and safely held here until you tell us to deliver it to you.


Thermal Process.

Thermal process reduces the elasticity and strength in the timber so that it cannot be used as a structural beam and pre-drilling is generally required when installing to prevent the board from splitting although this would be normal practice with hardwoods anyway.

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