Are new technologies like composite wood any better than regular wood? In this article, we compare them and help you keep your exterior walls looking good for years, whatever your choice may be.
But first, what is composite wood, and how is it different from regular wood? Composite wood is a mixture of several materials such as recycled wood, plastic fibres, and straw. Our products resist mould, rot, insects, and animals. They also do better with sun exposure, water, humidity and salty air than ordinary wood.
Staining wood siding vs. composite wood
Regular wood can be coloured in a variety of tones but needs to be maintained yearly. You can prep old cladding for a fresh coat of paint yourself – make sure that you are working on a clean surface, exempt of holes and cracks, before applying a primer and exterior paint.
Wood composite comes in a wide range of natural and modern tones, and two wood-like finishes. It does not require year-over-year maintenance.
Popular colours for exterior walls
How to stain exterior walls and how often to do it?
After sanding, apply a wet coat to your wooden cladding and wipe residues off before staining. A natural bristle brush should do to stain your panels.
Composite wood may require a wash now and then; simply spraying water with a hose should do. If you are using a pressure-wash machine, select a widespread spray and “shoot” your deck from a distance. When you need a little scrubbing, use a soft brush, a cloth or a sponge. We highly recommend that you avoid metal brushes. They can leave scratches and damage the material.
And remember, scrubbing in the direction of the grain is always best, whether you work with regular wood or composite.
Best composite cleaners:
- Gentle, household detergent
- White vinegar
How to remove stains from wood?
Apply a chemical stripper to cover about 2.5 feet around the stain. We like TSP or a similar product is best to prevent early bubbling and flaking. Use a wide paintbrush. Then, let it sit and scrape the paint off after it has lifted and bubbled before doing your touch-ups.
How to clean away mildew on wall siding?
Mould and mildew can occur periodically. Whether you are working with regular or composite wood, remove organic materials such as leaves and pollen.
If you notice mildew growing on wooden wall siding, here is how to get rid of it: add laundry detergent and household chlorine bleach to warm water. Consider trisodium phosphate for best results at washing the mildew off. Use warm soapy water and a soft, non-metal brush on your composite panels.
How to stop woodpeckers from pecking wood walls?
We like this one.
Some people keep woodpeckers away by simply presenting the birds with another place to nest. You can also try attaching netting to the siding. Hang it at least 3 inches from natural wooden exterior walls to prevent pecking.
How much does it cost to replace wood and composite cladding?
Composite is similar to exotic wood in terms of pricing, whereas regular, common wood is generally cheaper.
However, these two options will not sell themselves on the same arguments. Consider the amount of time required for maintenance and your efforts at reducing your carbon footprint. Your budget, availability, and the life expectancy of your project should guide your decision.
One thing that we like about both options is that in each case you can replace wall components individually.
Is composite more eco-friendly than natural wood?
The usage of regular wood is a significant factor in deforestation and a source of pollution if it has to be treated every year with chemicals this is one of the many reasons why wood composite is considered a more environmentally-friendly option.
Furthermore, composite wood is made of recycled materials and is more uniform in appearance. This helps reduce waste since there is no need to separate the less attractive parts from those that are ultimately used, as is the case with regular wood. Composite wood also lasts longer and is 100% recyclable – look for facilities near you.
How long does wood siding last vs. composite wall siding?
We can only speak for our products, which come with a 25-year warranty (and can last even longer). Regular wood can have a similar lifespan, but only if it’s maintained correctly.
How do you replace siding panels?
Replacing rotten wood involves cutting off rotten parts, clearing out nails, cutting, painting and staining a new panel, and finally fastening and caulking it to make it watertight.
Wood composite naturally resists water and rot. To replace a panel, you will essentially need to take off the broken piece and replace it with a new one. Our products hide screws and fastening hardware for a clean, modern look.
The wooden houses that are typical of our countryside and cities will never go out of style. Our composite wood siding allows you to achieve this look so much more easily than regular wood or timber, with the added advantages of durability and low maintenance.
Visit our inspiration gallery to start thinking about what your project could look like.