A long-standing debate exists in the UK on whether timber cladding needs treatment before installation.
While it is true that softwood species such as Western Red Cedar and Siberian Larch are naturally durable and do not require pressure-impregnated chemicals to preserve them, this should not be interpreted that they are immune from degradation.
Because of the varying weather exposure conditions faced in the UK, wood cladding does not weather uniformly. Continued exposure to precipitation means wood can develop a dark, damp, unsightly appearance due to moisture getting into the fibres and pulling out tannins and extractives.
Meanwhile, UV rays are impacting on polymer bonds within the wood substrate. Lignin is especially prone to UV degradation and if not protected, the wood cells will become faded and loose, subsequently eroding the wood surface.
This can lead to patchy, inconsistent areas of discolouration, which are unpleasant to the eye. This has led some town planners to reject the use of unfinished timber cladding, unaware that it is an easily avoidable and treatable issue.
Nick Taylor, Managing Director at Silva Timber, is a strong advocate for protecting timber cladding to help prolong service life.
Over the years we’ve encountered specification upon specification where treatment has not been detailed for timber cladding projects, ultimately to the detriment of the building.
It is encouraging to see this trend in decline however, as architects and specifiers are increasingly aware of the benefits of pre-finishing timber cladding with a suitable wood protection solution.
In pursuit of finding the best wood protection solution for the UK build industry, Silva Timber developed a strong relationship with Sansin Enviro-Stains, the global leader in environmentally friendly wood protection.
For over 25 years, Sansin has focused on researching, developing and introducing environmentally-friendly wood protection products and technologies. The company is now at the forefront of providing the best performing, least toxic and most durable wood stains on the market.
Sansin’s pioneering approach has led to developments in wood protection far surpassing anything previously available in the UK.
Formulated using natural ingredients, Sansin’s products hold a low VOC content, use simple application methods and offer a stunning natural look to timber cladding.
Nick Taylor is also excited about further developments to the Sansin range for 2015, including a product which offers an 8-year warranty for wood stain while still maintaining the natural appearance of wood.
One of the most common requests from specifiers is for a wood protection solution with a guaranteed life expectancy. Our new product launch will offer sawn timber cladding pre-finished in a range of natural tones with an 8-year warranty. Decision makers who we’ve shown the product to have been very excited by its potential to solve a problem which has faced timber cladding application for decades.
Silva Timber and Sansin’s flexible approach means they can tailor a wood care solution for any timber cladding project, be it a custom colour tone, dealing with harsh weather exposure or planning maintenance routines.