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Why Knots in Traditional Wood Siding are a Nightmare

by Amy Lindholm, January 5, 2017

Why Knots in Traditional Wood Siding are a Nightmare

Softwood species such as cedar, pine, fir and spruce are frequent choices for homes with traditional exterior wood siding and fencing. There are architects who are wood purists and love the natural appeal of wood even though there are many installation and maintenance issues associated with lap, cedar shake and wood siding panels when they specify these materials. Let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges that installers and homeowners face when using traditional wood siding.

More Material Waste and Increased Labor

Wood siding naturally includes knots, voids, cracks and other irregularities. Natural wood defects require more maintenance and are often graded as lower quality material. This process increases the cost of the wood. Loose knots can wiggle free and come out of the board, leaving behind a gaping hole. Nailing into knots is difficult, and cracks in a board allow water to get inside the wood and promote rot. To avoid these defects, an installer must cull through lumber on the job site, picking and choosing the best pieces of wood. This results in more material waste and increased installation and labor time.

The Knot Bleed Dilemma

In the woods, it’s natural for sap to ooze out of the knots in trees. When it comes to siding, pitch and resin can cause major problems with the appearance of painted wood surfaces. Certain tree species, such as red pine, have more resin that results in excessive oozing at the knot. This is especially problematic when the wood is exposed to higher temperatures.

Many an installer has been frustrated when they paint the surface of real wood siding, only to find that resin bleeds through the knots and turns the paint yellow-brown. With further exposure to weather, the discolored paint can become brittle, crack and peel.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding: The Better Choice

LP® SmartSide® trim and siding feature beautiful wood grain patterns in authentic natural textures. While there are knots included in the texture, these only replicate the natural grain of wood. Our innovative engineered wood products are free of natural wood defects. Because every inch has been treated with our SmartGuard® process to resist termites and decay, you can be confident LP SmartSide products will remain durable and strong.

There are LP SmartSide products for every home you build. Find an LP SmartSide retailer today, or learn more about the benefits of becoming an LP BuildSmart Preferred Contractor.

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