Does Softwood Cladding Cause Damp?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Risks of Rushed Softwood Cladding Installation: Installing softwood cladding without proper consideration can worsen damp issues in a property. Rushing the installation process may hinder the drying of damp outer walls, providing a conducive environment for damp to thrive and cause more significant problems.
  • Complexity of Softwood Cladding Installation: Softwood cladding involves more than simply attaching wooden boards to a home. Proper installation requires fitting a vapour membrane to protect the outer wall and maintaining a minimum gap of 1 inch between the wall and cladding for adequate air circulation.
  • Professional Treatment for Damp Prevention: Choosing the right type of wood and ensuring proper treatment are essential steps in preventing damp caused by softwood cladding. While certain woods naturally resist insects, rot, and moisture, others require treatment before use.

Damp is one of those problems that can quickly and quietly wreak havoc in a property, meaning you only notice it when things have already got out of hand.

The problems are only just beginning at that point, however, because damp can be an absolute nightmare to get rid of properly. 

A quick search online will likely show you a whole host of articles claiming to offer instant solutions.

Softwood cladding is one such solution that will jump out at you as stylish and potentially highly effective, but that’s only if it’s done right the first time. 

See related: Damp Proofing Services.

How does softwood cladding cause damp to get even worse?

You read that right! The problem with rushing to install softwood cladding without a moment’s thought is that you can very easily make the problem even worse.

Remember that damp is moisture which is penetrating your brick work and causing water-based fungi and mould to form on your internal surfaces for a moment.

Now ask yourself if simply covering the wet outer wall which already isn’t drying properly is a sensible thing to do. 

Many will try and convince you that you’re shielding the wall from the elements, preventing any more rain water from hitting it.

The problem though is that you’ve now massively slowed down the rate at which the wall will dry, giving damp even more of a foothold with which to grow and cause you headaches.

Putting softwood cladding on top of a damp outside wall will only make things worse. But that’s not the only issue here…

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Why does softwood cladding cause damp?

You can actually go from a nice damp-free property that could do with a little extra curb appeal to a property riddled with damp if you’re not careful.

No one wants to hear this when the end goal is to have an Instaworthy home that you can’t wait to show off on the street, but it’s true and needs to be taken seriously. 

Installing cladding is far more complex than simply screwing wooden boards of your choice to your home. There needs to be a vapour membrane fitted to protect your outer wall, as well as a minimum gap of 1 inch left between wall and cladding.

This will allow the air to circulate and ensure your home remains damp-free when you’re trying to add a little extra touch of style to the outside. We also need to give some thought to which specific choice of softwood you add to your home. 

Does softwood cladding cause damp if you choose the wrong variety of wood?

This depends whether the wood you choose requires treating before you put it up. In theory, choosing a wood like red cedar, fir or larch is best if you can get hold of it because they have natural resistance to everything that nature is going to throw at your cladding.

These varieties of wood have evolved to be highly resistant to insects, rot and moisture, making them ideal candidates for cladding in any type or style of home. 

On the other hand, common woods like spruce and pine will need to be treated before they can be safely used to clad your home.

In principle, nothing bad will happen provided you get every square inch properly treated and allow the treatment to air and take hold before mounting the cladding. Cutting corners at this stage only means that you’re increasing the chances of problems piling up down the line.

If in doubt, opt for a professional who will be able to correctly treat, mount and secure your cladding so you never have to worry about damp and mould damage. 

What should you do if softwood cladding causes damp?

Good question, we thought you’d never ask! As well as professionals who can readily lend a hand to mount your cladding, there are also no shortage of professionals who can help treat and eliminate damp — you’ve found a team of us after all. 

Patience and attention to detail are the keys when treating damp because you have to make sure every last box is ticked. DIY approaches or relying on a hot summer to cure your issues are just not going to work, especially if the damp has already taken a firm hold of your property. 

Another pressing issue that makes things worse with damp is that you may have no idea when the problems first began.

This means that without the expert knowledge that a professional in damp treatments and ventilation has built up over many years, you won’t even know where to begin.

If in doubt, ask an expert to conduct a full damp and mould survey of your home and give them the time they need to work backwards from what they see to the initial cause that created all this bother in the first place. The investment in terms of time and money will always be worth it. 

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Get a no obligation FREE quote now. Our team is here to help. Take the first step towards a guaranteed solution by filling out our form below. 

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If softwood cladding causes damp, why not use hardwood cladding?

Price, ease of installation and inability to prevent damp occurring are the three main reasons you won’t want to go down this route. It’s tempting to try and oversimplify things by deciding that the “soft” in softwood is the crux of the matter, but that’s not the way to go about things. 

Hardwood has many plus points and is a popular choice for high-end furniture, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right choice of material when you need to clad your home.

Sticking to an approach that gets the basics right is always the best way to go, which means connecting with a team of damp treatment professionals should always be your first step. 

Ripping down your softwood cladding out of sheer frustration might make you feel like you’re making quick and affordable progress, but it’s just not the case.

What you’re doing here is veering sharply in the wrong direction, reducing the aesthetic appeal of your home, and potentially making the problem even worse at the same time. 

If in doubt, always ask the experts here at Advanced Damp!

Picture of Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

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