Avoiding common problems with larch wood cladding

In recent years timber cladding has grown in popularity for all sorts of different projects. Commercial, schools, healthcare and residential builds are being finished with timber. It is used for both new builds and refurbishments.

There are many reasons why larch wood cladding is now so popular with designers and architects. It is low maintenance, it is an environmentally sound option, and it is suitable for a diverse range of projects.

However, there are a few common problems that people can encounter when using larch wood cladding that can easily be overcome. The skill it takes to properly install and maintain larch wood cladding should not be underestimated with the growing popularity.

Shrinkage and expansion

Larch wood cladding does not need to be treated. However, shrinkage and expansion will still happen with the relative moisture content of the wood. This means that you should only install your larch wood cladding once it has been professionally kiln-dried to ensure that it is seasoned evenly.

The person who fits your larch wood cladding also needs to have experience with working with wood and compensate for any slight changes in size of the cladding boards. Leaving enough overlap is essential for it to be effective for many years to come.

Fixtures and fitting

Larch wood is a natural material and therefore contains a variety of natural chemicals. Sometimes these chemicals can react with nails and screws and cause unsightly rust marks around the fittings. This can be overcome by using fixtures and fittings that are designed to be used with timber cladding. These will be resistant to rust caused by the wood resins.

Weathering

Untreated larch wood weathers. The speed at which it weathers depends on the location, the conditions and the direction that it faces. When larch wood weathers it changes colour to a sliver-grey. This change in appearance must be built into the design of the property and embraced as a beautiful part of using natural materials. For most people the weathering process is one of the draws of using timber cladding. However, if it is not for you then you should have the cladding treated or painted for a guaranteed even finish.

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