Cedar Doctor

FAQs

Answering your questions about maintaining Cedar homes and properties

We have noted below the answers to some frequently asked questions.  If you have another question that is not covered here, please complete the form below, or call us on 0800 888 091, with your question and we will see if we can answer it for you.

Although Cedar has natural preservatives, over time moisture, heat and UV light will gradually deplete these.  This permits moisture to enter the timber causing it to expand and contract, creating gaps for algae, mildew, moss, or mould to grow, and for the timber to cup, split and silver.

  • UV rays from New Zealand’s harsh sun, and rain
  • Moisture entering into the timber through unprotected surfaces or from contact with the ground or other structures
  • A build-up of dust, dirt and salt air contaminants
  • Plants trapping moisture in the timbers or rubbing off the surface treatment
  • Incorrect use of the water blasters and bleach style cleaners, and
  • Delayed maintenance.

The best time to treat any external timber is before the damage begins.  If the surface colour is faded or oxidised and no longer beads water, your timber needs re-treatment with a wood oil or stain.  Exposed timber, discolouration (black spots or marks or silvering) or the appearance of moulds (white, red, green, or black) or moss and lichens are indications that maintenance is well over due.

Stained cladding: Although most product manufacturers will only guarantee their timber stain products for 2 years we believe that correct surface preparation, application, and regular maintenance can extend the effective protection from 3-5 years depending on the exposure of the timber to the elements.

Oiled cladding: If treated with a wood oil, the cladding will need its first re-treatment within 12 months of the initial treatment.  Following this the re-treatment periods will be the same as with stained cladding.

It is essential to prevent moisture entering the timber and to replace the oils and resins that are naturally contained in Cedar, but are depleted over time.  Pigmented wood oils or timber stains will do this if applied and maintained correctly.  Proven brands designed for New Zealand conditions are Dryden WoodOil and Woodmaster.  We also use Cabot’s Aqua Exterior and Deck and Wattyl Forestwood stains.

This will help replace the timbers natural oils and resins and provide the required water repelling attributes.  It will not protect it from the effects of the UV light which will cause uneven discolouration and silvering.  A pigmented wood oil provides UV protection.

This will not solve the problem of the deterioration of your timber and may even accelerate the decay.  Paint and varnish form a surface film which may simply hide the damage.  Heat from the sun will cause moisture trapped in the timber to try to exit through the film causing it to blister.  UV light penetrates varnish, and will damage to the timber.  To protect your Cedar investment, you need to replace the oils and resins by using timber treatments specifically designed to treat and preserve exterior Cedar structures.

Our experience has shown that not all house wash companies are equal.  Cedar is a softwood and can be easily damaged by incorrect use of a water blaster or bleach type chemicals.

Yes, we encourage you to take an interest in maintaining your property.  Please ask us for our recommendations first.  To avoid damaging the timber and removing the protective coating don’t use a water blaster, chemicals, or stiff bristle brushes.  A regular light hosing off (soft wash) of the cladding with clean water will help remove the build-up of air-borne contaminants such as dust, pollens and salt air residues.

We encourage you to show an interest and be active in caring for your home and are happy to help you in that regard.  But bear in mind that Cedar treatment is a specialised area, very physical work and does require a level of practical ability, the right equipment, and time.  Considering that well-maintained Cedar will add much value to your property having the work done by specialists is a good investment.

We have successfully stripped many different coatings and then applied a wood oil with good results.  We are happy to discuss the options and expected outcomes with you.

In addition to regular sweeping to keep it dirt and debris free you should give it at least a 6-monthly light wash with a water and laundry detergent solution (using the waste water from your washing machine is good) and a stiff bristle broom, followed by a rinse off with the hose.

Don’t forget to regularly move the deck furniture, planter boxes and pot plants to avoid pattern marks.

We only recommend using wood oils and timber stains that are specifically formulated for New Zealand’s climatic conditions and have proven to be effective timber treatments. 

Yes, although they have chemical compounds that assist with lifting the contaminants from the timber, these are diluted and rendered inert with the volume of water applied in the cleaning process.

If you have other questions that are not answered here, please call us on 0800 888 091 and we will endeavor to help you.