Cedar cladding is something that can add visual appeal and value to your home. So, if you own a Cedar clad home, you will want to be aware of the main threats to your Cedar and the appearance and value of your home.
The three main enemies of Cedar timber
Cedar’s worst enemy is the sun. And here in New Zealand we have some of the harshest UV rays in the world. The UV light changes or destroys the wood’s lignin, a component of wood that hardens and strengthens the cell walls. Technically this process is called photo-oxidation, but put simply it is the surface fibres of the timber degrading or breaking down. Evidence of this happening is the ‘silvering off’ of the Cedar, and then being able to rub off the loose fibres.
Combined with Cedar‘s second enemy, rain, this sun damage allows moisture to be absorbed into the timber. As the boards dry, the moisture on the face the cladding evaporates and the timber on the outer face shrinks, causing cupping. Eventually the cupping will result in the cladding pulling away from the fastenings, splitting and popping out on the corner joints.
The breakdown of the surface fibres also creates toeholds for the third enemy of your Cedar, mildew, mould, and lichen. Once these get established the timber will look aged and dirty, with red, black, green, or white moulds, and lichen growth. If left for too long, and the timber is exposed to constant moisture, more significant damage will occur as, fungi, the precursor to wood rot, develops.
Pamper your Cedar
Like us Cedar enjoys some pampering. Regular light wash downs will help keep the surface free from dust, dirt salt-air contamination and mould or mildew spores. Periodic retreatment with a protective timber stain or nourishing pigmented wood oil will maintain a level of UV protection and keep the cladding moisture proof. This pampering will help extend the Cedar service life and keep it looking great.
Maintenance of your Cedar is an investment in the future value of your property, so call us to find out what we can do to help you maintain the value of the Cedar on your property so that it retains its beauty and value.
See our Cedar Cladding Maintenance Program.
If you are not sure about any of these matters, contact us for some advice.
Learn more about what you can do to maintain the Cedar on your home by reading our article What You Need to Know about Caring for the Cedar on Your New Home.