Like all natural materials, Western Red Cedar responds to the environment; Cedar siding can swell or shrink to reach equilibrium with the moisture content of the surrounding air. By acclimating your siding prior to installation it will help reduce movement later on.
Kiln Dried Clears have been dried at the mill and are the most “ready to use” of all Western Red Cedar siding products. It may be installed upon arrival, except in very hot and dry environments (allow 3 to 5 days for acclimation) or if it has been wetted. If wet, it should be separated and allowed to dry completely before installation.
Dry Knotty Sidings should be allowed to acclimate for 7 to 10 days prior to installation. In damp or high humidity environments, more time may be required for acclimation. Stack the siding on evenly spaced vertically aligned “stickers” in a dry storage area, off the ground and under cover. Air should be circulating all around the pieces.
Unseasoned or “green” sidings have not been dried to prior to delivery and require much longer to acclimate to their surrounding environment. Narrower widths of channel, bevel and board-and-batten sidings allow for shrinkage when supplied without prior drying. Acclimation of green siding products can take 30 days or longer depending on the environment. Store the stack by separating the pieces with vertically aligned stickers in a well ventilated, dry location off the ground by at least 4”. If it is to be stored over damp ground or new concrete, place a moisture barrier under the siding.
After your Western Red Cedar Siding has acclimated, a coating of primer, stain or oil should be applied to all surfaces, including the ends, is recommended. The type of coating will vary depending on the final finish desired. If a solid color stain or paint will be used, an alkyd oil stain-blocking primer should be used as the first coat, applied on all four sides. Always follow the manufactures’ recommendations to ensure the product you have selected is for use on Western Red Cedar and compatible with the intended finish coat.
To save money and time on the job site, we can arrange to have your Western Red Cedar Siding coated with a product of your choice. With nearly every color imaginable, from clear products that allow the natural characteristics and colors of the wood show through, to semi-transparent stains that add a subtle hue, to solid color coatings; including oil based primers.
Your siding will be completely covered all four sides with a flood coat in a temperature controlled environment, free of dust and debris and back brushed to ensure even absorption and coverage. This quality of pre-finish is impossible to duplicate using on-site installation methods. Read more about the process HERE
Stud walls generally require no special preparation when installing horizontal siding. The siding should be nailed into the studs at a maximum of 24 inch centers when applied over a wood based, solid sheathing. When bevel sidings of 11/16” or thinner are applied without sheathing, 16 inch on center is recommended. When installing vertical siding over stud walls, with or without sheathing, horizontal blockers are needed and should be spaced not exceeding 24 inch on center.
Walls made of masonry will require furring strips that are thick enough for nail penetration of 1-1/4” into sold wood with a ring shank nail. Using rigid foam sheathing as a nailing base for Western Red Cedar Siding is generally not recommended and should only be done in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Proper wall construction includes the use of gas permeable building paper and vapor barriers. Always check your local code to verify all building requirements.
Stainless steel nails are the best choice for installing Western Red Cedar siding, especially if the siding is to be finished with transparent or semi-transparent stain. No. 304 grade is fine for general siding applications, while No. 316 grade stainless should be used when installing near salt water. Alternatively, hot-dipped galvanized nails that are corrosion resistant can be used. Other types of fasteners are not recommended.
Prior to installing your Western Red Cedar Siding, make sure that corrosion-resistant flashing is properly installed to prevent moisture from entering wall and roof spaces above doors and windows, at the junctions of dormer walls and roof surfaces, and along the transition of siding materials such as cedar to brick or stucco.
Keep the lowest edge of your Western Red Cedar Siding at least 6” off the ground and treat the end grain of the bottom of vertical siding with a water repellent preservative or primer. Caulking is to be used where the ends of your siding contact vertical openings or trim. Use only non-hardening caulks such as plyurethane, polysulfide, tepolymer rubber, acrylic or acrylic-silicone. Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
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