We love the look of wood siding, but as with most things in a home, siding and decks need some TLC.
What Happens if Wood Siding is Left Unprotected?
Wood expands and contracts when the humidity and temperature change. Colorado temperatures can fluctuate, sometimes by as much as forty degrees within a twenty-four hour period. Even when it snows or rains the air humidity is generally very low, so the wood becomes dry. If wood is left unprotected from the intense UV rays it can start to crack and rot. This puts stress on seals around windows and doors which can cause water to seep into the siding and further threaten to rot the wood.
Sealing is the Key to Good Maintenance
The bottom line is that wood siding must be sealed. Some choose to paint, but wood lovers like us at SoCo Wood & Windows always go for the natural look of stained wood. Staining is also far cheaper than painting wood siding, so there is some budget love there as well.
Another advantage to staining your siding is that the stain is breathable, providing natural airflow through the wood to better tolerate the expansion and contraction of changing weather conditions. Oil-based semi-transparent stains will penetrate the wood and re-moisturize it to maintain its natural hardness and show the beauty of the wood grain.
What Do the Local Pros Say?
Our friends, Mike and Bob Romero at Rufe’s Paint Store in Durango, Colorado, know a thing or two about maintaining wood siding and have been supplying local contractors since 1963.
“You want to keep your wood siding and deck well stained with an oil-based stain. Here in the Four Corners region, you want a product that gives superior UV protection. Our contractors depend on Messmer’s UV Plus and Diamond Vogue, Grain Stain.“
Although some say you should plan to stain every three years, the Romeros disagree.
“In Colorado’s dry climate, you’ll want to stain siding and decking once a year or so. Doing so will keep your wood conditioned and guard against it turning grey and cracking. “
The When, How, and What for Maintaining Wood Siding
You’ll want to stain in the cooler days of early spring or early fall. In the heat of summer, stains become hard to work with and set too fast.
Following these few simple steps to ensure your project’s success:
- Spray your wood with a power washer and let it dry completely.
- Clean the wood with a product like Cabot’s Wood Brightener or Wood Cleaner.
- Stain the wood in one layer. Do not apply a second coat, as this causes buildup and dulls the surface.
Use quality applicators, including sprayers, brushes, and applicator pads.
- Sprayers do a pretty good job, but keep in mind those windy Southwest Colorado days.
- A lot of folks prefer the brush, stroking it in both directions several times to fill the dry wood siding with the sealing power of the stain. (4″ paint brushes are great for this use.)
- Stain is much thinner than paint, and you may notice a lot of dripping when brushing. Use a drop cloth to prevent accumulated drips on the deck or ground. You may also use a large strip of cardboard to catch the drips and move it as you make your way around the house.
With advice from local pros, the right equipment, and a passion for the natural look of wood, maintaining your wood siding and deck will not be a chore but rather an act of love, protecting the beauty of your home for years to come.
When it comes to wood products, if you can dream it, the pros at SoCo Wood & Windows Custom Millworks can make it happen. Call us today at 970-247-2088.