Larch is a wood commonly used in the construction of wooden cladding. In this article, we will introduce you to its characteristics and then show you some products for maintaining larch cladding.
Larch is a European wood species. This slow-growing softwood has good strength and durability.
It is a class 3 wood that is resistant to humidity. It can be used outdoors without the need for preventive insecticide and fungicide treatment.
For outdoor use, it is used for decking and cladding. It is very popular for wooden chalets because of its good resistance to low temperatures.
From an aesthetic point of view, larch is a pinkish brown wood. It also has a strong grain and few knots, making it a very harmonious wood.
Outside, the colour of larch will change over time due to climatic elements such as UV and weathering. Like all exterior woods, larch will turn grey under the effect of UV. This is a perfectly natural phenomenon called wood greying. In some cases, larch may even turn black in places. This is only a visual alteration and does not affect the technical properties of your wood. To maintain the colour, it is important to protect your larch cladding.
To respect the natural grain of the wood, we recommend using a saturator. Saturators are non-opaque products that offer protection to larch cladding while preserving the natural grain of the wood. In general, there are two types of applications :
Or you want to retain the natural, authentic colour of the larch cladding. Your aim is to eliminate the greying of the wood. In this case, we recommend the Siding Saturator SB600 which provides a matt finish and a colourless or tinted finish.
Or you like the grey aspect of the wood and you want to homogenise it. In this case, we recommend the Grey Saturator SGA600. This saturator allows you to reproduce the aged grey of the wood and to make it uniform.
Saturators for larch and other woods should be applied to non-greyed and non-blackened wood to ensure a consistent and uniform finish.
If your siding is not greyed or blackened, you can apply a saturator such as Siding Saturator SB600 to clean, dust-free wood.
If you have greyed out larch siding (grey haze on the surface of the wood with no black streaks), you need to apply a de-greaser such as Wood Degreaser DG105 before the saturator. This product removes the grey haze on the surface that is responsible for the discoloration of your larch siding.
If you have blackened larch cladding (marks, traces or black spots on your cladding), you will need to clean your larch cladding thoroughly with Wood Cleaner N100 or Concentrated Wood Cleaner N140 . After cleaning the cladding, if a dull colour remains, you can continue the renovation of your larch cladding by applying Wood Degreaser DG105 . Then finish with a larch saturator. For a renovation, we advise you to apply two coats.
In the following years, maintenance is carried out by applying a new coat of saturator when you find that the colour of your wood becomes dull. This way you will not have to wait for the development of the grey layer (greying of the wood), and you will not have to use the degreasing and cleaning products again.
If you want an opaque finish and do not want to preserve the natural grain of the wood, you can opt for paints. Within our range, we recommend Exterior Wood Paint PBE900 which is available in various colours (RAL colour chart).
If your cladding has already been treated (stains, paints), it is necessary to remove the previous finishes by sanding. Then you can apply the paint in layers after having applied an undercoat.
Larch wood stains provide long-lasting protection. As the product is film-forming, the result is less natural than with a saturator. Unlike saturator, stains require sanding for maintenance. Sanding down an old stain on a cladding can quickly become long and difficult.
We do not recommend using linseed oil to maintain larch cladding. Linseed oil tends to blacken on this wood. This often requires extensive renovation to restore larch cladding treated with linseed oil.