Using Timber for Exterior Construction: A Scientific Approach

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Getting a beautiful exterior is something that we all dream of but we are left with very few options when it’s time to decide the material we want to use. Timber is popular for exterior applications due to its natural beauty and versatility. However, using timber for external applications requires careful consideration and planning to ensure the best results. Here are some tips for getting the best result when using timber in exterior applications, backed by scientific research and statistics from PY Timber Warehouse.

Choose the Right Timber

The first step in getting the best results when using timber in exterior applications is to choose the right type of timber. Some timber species are more resistant to decay and insect damage than others. For example, western red cedar is a popular choice for exterior siding because it is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage and has a high natural oil content that makes it resistant to moisture. Other popular species for exterior applications include cypress, redwood, and treated pine.

According to a study by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the natural durability of timber varies widely between species. The study found that heartwood from some species, such as western red cedar and redwood, had natural durability ratings comparable to or better than preservative-treated wood. In contrast, other species, such as southern pine, had lower natural durability ratings and required preservative treatment to be suitable for exterior applications.

Prepare the Timber

Proper preparation of timber is essential for achieving the best results in exterior applications. A poorly prepared timber may be more susceptible to decay and insect damage and may not hold paint or stain.

According to ADAFF, ensuring it is adequately seasoned is one of the most critical steps in preparing timber for exterior applications. Not sufficiently seasoned timber may contain excess moisture, leading to decay and insect damage. The USDA recommends that timber be air-dried to a moisture content of 15% or less before being used in exterior applications.

Another important step in preparing timber for exterior applications is to remove any mill glaze that may be present. Mill glaze is a hard, shiny surface that can form on timber during milling, preventing paint or stain from adhering properly. Mill glaze can be removed by sanding or using a special chemical treatment.

Protect the Timber

Protecting timber from the elements is essential for achieving the best results in exterior applications. Timber that is not properly covered may be more susceptible to decay, insect damage, and weathering.

Applying a preservative treatment is one way to protect the timber from the elements. According to a study by the Forest Products Laboratory, preservative-treated timber can have a service life of up to 40 years when properly installed and maintained.

Another way to protect the timber from the elements is to apply a finish, such as paint or stain. According to a study by the ADAFF, a high-quality paint or stain can significantly extend the service life of timber by protecting it from moisture, sunlight, and other environmental factors.

Maintain the Timber

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the long-term performance of timber in exterior applications. Timber that is not properly maintained may be more susceptible to decay, insect damage, and weathering.

According to PY Timber Warehouse, regular maintenance of timber in exterior applications should include periodic cleaning and inspection and the application of a new finish as needed. The maintenance frequency will depend on various factors, including the type of timber, the type of finish, and the local climate.

Conclusion

Using timber in exterior applications can be beautiful and durable but requires careful consideration and planning. Choosing the right type of timber, preparing it properly, protecting it from the elements, and maintaining it regularly are all essential for achieving the best results. By following these tips, backed by scientific statistics and facts, homeowners and contractors can enjoy the natural beauty and durability of timber in exterior applications for many years to come.

About PY Timber Warehouse

PY Timber Warehouse is a premier provider of high-quality timber products in Victoria, Australia. They offer a wide range of timber products, including flooring, decking, cladding, and structural timber, to meet the needs of both residential and commercial customers. Their team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and expert advice on timber selection, preparation, and installation. PY Timber Warehouse is committed to sustainable forestry practices. It offers eco-friendly timber products that meet the highest environmental standards. Whether renovating your home or building a new commercial space, PY Timber Warehouse has the right timber products to suit your needs.

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