What to consider when choosing wood over other siding options.
Wood siding has been a favorite for specification by Architects for many years. You could say that it’s the grandpa of architecture. Mainly installed with a rainscreen method it works to keep moisture out of the building while protecting the rest of the wall assembly.
Wood is a natural product made from a renewable resource that was once a living thing. In the past it was believed wood would not hold up like other non organic materials. With the introduction of thermally modified wood siding extended life cycles can be expected utilizing wood as a siding option. All wood siding will age but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Thermally modified siding will take on a elegant gray patina very quickly but due to the siding being thermally treated it remains dimensional stable due to the woods inability to take on any significant moisture which in turn makes the thermally modified wood siding highly rot resistant. The high rot resistance of thermally modified wood products is what differentiates it from other traditional wood products. Many of the past issues when wood was used as a siding option was mold forming on the surface and then the mold turning into rot which over time breaks down the woods structural integrity. Due to the lack of agents that are attributed to rot thermally modified wood siding can now provide a high performance option.
One of the upsides of utilizing wood siding over other products is that most installers are keenly aware of its installation methods. Most are profiled to accommodate standard installation methods across several species of wood. Popular profiles are T&G and Shiplap some of which offer a hidden fastener system and end matching. Finishing techniques can vary depending on the grade and species of wood. Relatively speaking the more consistent the density and moisture of the wood allows for improved finishing.
Many consumers now consider the environmental impact of material over the products lifespan. Life cycle thinking takes into consideration the energy expended to produce the product along with transportation, installation and potential for recycling. In general, wood siding makes less of an environmental impact then other non wood products.
With improved technologies over recent years, such as thermal modification, many species of wood can now provide years of exceptional performance were as before consumers had to rely on the woods naturally inherited performance benefits. With thermal modification wood species have been expanded as viable siding options. Species such as Ash, Pine, Oak and Poplar are making their way onto the homes of many projects across North America offering consumers truly reliable wood options that can perform at the same level as metal, aluminum, composite and brick.
It truly is a natural wood with unnatural performance!