Cladding your home
Weatherboards are widely used as the preferred cladding for homeowners across New Zealand.
They are easily available, long lasting and they give homes a certain character and appeal that cannot be matched by other cladding types. The other options for cladding are brick, panel cladding etc..
Most commonly used types are Fibre cement, Palliside and timber weatherboards.
Timber weatherboards are synonymous with New Zealand homes and small commercial builds; they have been used as cladding for over 50 years now. Timber weatherboards are affordable to use as cladding and widely available across the country to use on homes. These weatherboards are available in a range of sizes and profiles depending on the look & feel a homeowner wants for their home. They are primarily made from two types of timber – radiata pine & cedar. While cedar weatherboards offer a very rustic and natural look, they are the most expensive timber cladding available in the market.
Due to the affordability of radiata pine weatherboards, they are widely used instead of cedar weatherboards unless the homeowner specifically chooses. Radiata pine weatherboards are made of naturally occurring pinewood and are perishable in nature, which is why they need to go through a preservative treatment to increase their longevity. This preservative treatment along with good quality paint/stain system and regular maintenance can further lengthen the life of the weatherboard.
Radiata Pine weatherboards are available in two varieties - finger jointed & clear pines, both of which need preservative treatment before they can be used. All timber weatherboards are vulnerable to thermal movement, moisture absorption and face splitting, which is why a good quality paint / stain system helps seals the weatherboards off from the elements.
It has been noted nationally that there is a preference by builders to use clear pineweatherboards instead of finger-jointed weatherboards. Finger jointed weatherboards are more prone to warping, cracking, contraction and swelling of the timber due to the dimensional instability due to the uneven stress in response to heat and moisture. This stress causes damage to the paint system, which allows moisture to be absorbed by the timber and over time this causes rots which leads to leaky homes. Finger jointed weatherboards are manufactured using timber biscuits made from different parts and different trees, in some cases juvenile timber has also been used. The varied density of the different timber biscuits cause the uneven stress which leads to paint blistering, cracking and bubbling thereby leading to failure of the paint system.
Fingerjointed weatherboard failure
Clear pine weatherboards on the other hand are not made of multiple pieces of timber biscuits but from straight runs of timber. This preserves the dimensional stability of the board in response to heat & moisture, as a result the boards undergoes less stress and reduces the chance of moisture seeping in post the application of a good quality paint system.
Choosing the right type of weatherboard is extremely important for the longevity of your homes ability to protect you from the elements & keep you warm and dry.