Installing and Maintaining your timber cladding
Maintaining your timber cladding (Scandinavian Redwood)
Treatment Information

 

Our wide variety of Joinery Grade Scandinavian Redwood cladding that we have to offer here at Ruby UK means that our customers have a choice and options available to them. The timber is a natural material, meaning that grains and colours will vary slightly adding to the beauty of your design. It's easy to understand why timber cladding has become so popular, due to its environmental properties such as sustainability, sound and insulation factors creating the perfect material to add character and personality to buildings and properties. Of course, all our Scandinavian Redwood is treated using a Green Tanalith pressure treatment  and has a 15 year treat right warranty explained here. Unfortunately, however, it cannot protect timber from the effects of weather such as Sun exposure, freezing and increased moisture levels. Therefore, our customers don’t have a choice when wanting to keep their cladding in tip top condition and we advise taking some of these steps on board to help with the upkeeping and preservation of your timber.

 

Maintaining your timber cladding 

 

When exposed to harsh UV rays from the Sun, cladding boards will overtime change colour to a silvery grey taking away the beauty of your design and instead, creating a dull, dreary effect. To stop this from happening, we highly recommend Osmo UV protection to help protect the boards from the Sun and keeping those natural, organic colours and grains in the wood.  The Osmo protection oil has pigments in it which will optimally match the colours of the wood as well as regulating moisture levels to stop swelling or shrinkage of your cladding. It is a dirt and water-resistant natural oil-based preservative that doesn’t crack, flake, peel or blister ensuring wood is kept in superb condition throughout its lifespan. It is recommended that you apply this oil every 12 weeks to help keep boards in pristine condition.  

 

Our joinery grade Scandinavian Redwood is a softwood and can therefore develop cracks over time also called ‘shakes’. These ‘shakes’ can be prevalent with regular temperature changes and constant weather conditions but is a natural process and will not affect the performance. Over time, your cladding can warp and twist due to the climate changes and constant changes of weather. To minimise this, secure your boards firmly making sure they are level and where water is unlikely to collect. Make sure to take a look at our products highlighted above to help with the upkeeping of your cladding. Cleaning your cladding boards is necessary to maintain the quality structure and appearance of your timber. Make sure to check it every 6 months or sooner if required and give it a wash of necessary. If painted, wash the coating with soapy water and apply a new coat once dry. The better you clean and prepare your boards, the longer it will need before another wash and maintenance. The wood will need suitable and even air flow throughout the structure to aid on going drying. After cleaning the structure, check all fixings to make sure they are tight and not loose in any way. 

 

For fire safety reasons, zero flame treatment can be applied to external cladding to minimise and stop fires from occurring and spreading. The treatment is a water based clear solution that soaks into the timber whilst leaving the appearance completely unchanged or affected. For most types of timber cladding, and timber that we have available at Ruby, the total coverage rate to work towards is 3.7m²/L.  For cedar however, the total coverage rate is 2.7m²/L to achieve Euro Class B and Class 0 spread of flame and fire propagation. When using this fire safety treatment, it’s important that the cladding boards are unsealed with no application of stains enabling the liquids to be absorbed by the wood. Please coat all sides of the cladding and panels to ensure a higher level of safety and efficiency. Battens will also need to be treated using the flame retardment to ensure that the whole structure is protected throughout. Also available at Ruby UK is our rodent and insect mesh used to prevent insects and rodents from entering your sheds and outer buildings by covering up the small gaps and spaces in the outer layer. Whilst still providing sufficient air flow to the cladding and overall building, the mesh is not combustible nor corrosive. The mesh can be fixed using staples, battening, tacks or a bead of silicone.

 

Installing your timber cladding

 

In terms of fitting your cladding together, the boards are lightweight making it relatively stress free and manageable. To help with the instalment process, we have here at Ruby UK, 50mm nails or tongue-tite plus screws to purchase and will secure the boards together. Both fixings should be driven into the boards so that the head is flush with the surface of the board. Acetic acid is present in timber cladding and can therefore corrode all mild and galvanised steel fixings. We therefore recommend using only the highest quality fixings and corrosion resistant materials to reduce any chances of corroding whilst also increasing the design and structure quality. The cladding should be fixed to treated softwood cladding battens. The battens should be perpendicular to the cladding, therefore horizontal cladding boards will be fixed to vertical battens and vice versa. If you do install your cladding boards vertically, do make sure that the top edges are angled to drain water more effectively. Have a look at our tools and fixings needed to produce a high-quality structure. It's important to use two fixings per board, 25% in from the edges at both ends making sure that the head of the fixing ends flush with the surface of the boards minimising any sitting water pockets.

In conclusion to this paragraph, here are some key points to take away:

  • When boards meet at the ends (abutting boards), a double batten should be used which extends the full width of the joint
  • Pre-drill holes should be created before applying the fixings to minimise the risk of splitting boards
  • Where a board crosses over with a batten, use two fixings to ensure a strong and reliable structure
  • Position the fixings 25% in from from the edges of the boards 
  • Use high quality fixings to stop corrosion and weakening of the structure

The way in which you fit your Joinery Grade Scandinavian Redwood Boards to exterior walls and buildings will depend on the structure. You need to take into consideration factors such as insulation, cavities, battens and design of cladding. Applying an insulation layer to your exterior wall before cladding may be required to reach good thermal properties. Ideally, this is done in two ways depending on the design structure. An insulation layer can be directly applied to the exterior wall and then the battens and cladding hanging from this layer or alternatively, a double layer arrangement can be used which will be fixed within a framework using I-joists. When two insulation boards meet, there should be a minimal gap no bigger than 5mm. Once the insulation stage has been carried out, you will need to add a cavity to allow sufficient water drainage and air ventilation. To create this cavity between the wall and boards, battens can be used by fixing one batten to the other perpendicular and creating a structure which has a channel in between the cladding and wall. This channel will need to be open at the top and bottom so do leave a small gap between both the ground and roof and boards. Battens need to be spaced out 600mm apart to create a durable, sturdy structure. To stop insects and pests entering these small gaps, we have available insect mesh which will restrict access but still allow sufficient airflow throughout the structure.

To conclude this paragraph, here are some key points to take away:

  • Applying your insulation can be done by securing it straight to the exterior wall using fixings and then the battens can be screwed and hung from the insulation.
  • Alternatively, you can use a double layer arrangement which will be fixed to the exterior wall within a framework of battens or I-joists.
  • Where two boards meet (abutting), a second batten will be needed which will run along the gap and whole width of the board to ensure strength and durability between the two boards
  • Air and drainage cavities are essential and only need a gap of 8mm 
  • The cavities will need to be open spaces and so leave a gap at the top and bottom between the roof and floor 
  • Insect mesh is extremely useful and covers the gaps whilst 

 

If you are using your cladding to make buildings like a shed or covered structure, it’s important to seal the joints in the structure to stop any moisture entering through these gaps. This can be done by using Osmo Clear UV protection oil which will effectively do this. If wanting to paint your cladding, make sure there are no sap or resin situated on the outer boarding as this will affect the process and spread of paint. A stain blocking primer and knotting agent will help clear any sap and resin and stop it from happening again. Because our cladding is pressure treated, there may be some green marking visible due to the salt leaving the timber. Please don’t panic regarding this as it is completely natural and will disappear over time. At the time of installation, all Scandinavian Redwood cladding boards should have a moisture content of 16% to ensure minimal expansion and 'shakes' occurring.

 

It may be necessary to cut your cladding boards in order to fit any gaps or to get the correct size. However, once cut, it allows water to enter through the cut ends as there is no sealant or water resistance oils in place to manage the water. We therefore advise to use End Sealing Wax to ensure that no water enters through these ends and effects the moisture levels within the wood. On top of this, cutting your vertical cladding boards at a slight angle will allow any moisture to run off the ends and stop any sitting water. Where an end of the board meets a corner or edge, please do allow a minimum of an 8mm gap which will dramatically reduce the chances of water sitting on the end grain.

 

Coroline Bitumen Roofing Sheet, It is easy to cut, drill and install with standard DIY tools and is available in a choice of corrugated profiles in clear or translucent tint options with a 10-year warranty!  Environmentally friendly roofing, these sheets are tough, lightweight roofing and cladding materials made from bitumen saturated organic fibres. The Coroline is 2.6mm thick.

 

Hopefully you have found this useful and gives you some more pointers and tips as to how to maintain and look after your cladding boards as well as installing them to a high standard. Make sure to check out all our products relating to cladding to help you keep your cladding clean, hardwearing and vigorous with structures you can be proud of. If you have any more questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to call our sales team on 01409231763 and they will be happy to help.

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