Durable Wood for Exterior Applications

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers

Many people love the look of wood on their homes, but they’re afraid to invest in a natural material that can be damaged by the elements. And very few of today’s homeowners have the time or skill to perform regular maintenance and maximize the lifespan of exterior wood. That’s why synthetic and composite alternatives have grown so popular, but they don’t provide the same appeal as natural wood and eventually end up as plastic waste in landfills. If you’d like an eco-friendly, real-wood solution that performs well through the seasons without upkeep, look into modified wood!

Kebony Character Cladding

Kebony Character Cladding is perfect if you want your home to have a rustic feel with plenty of knots and prominent woodgrain. These natural features make wood less durable than other types with tight, clear graining, but Kebony’s unique modification process increases strength through the whole plank and allows even knotty cladding to last for decades with no upkeep.

Why Wood Is Modified

Not all wood is equal when it comes to sustainability and durability. In fact, there’s usually an inverse relationship between the two—the wood species that replenish more quickly and are the most sustainable to harvest are less robust than the slower growing species generally preferred for outdoor use. You’ve probably heard professionals sing the praises of tropical hardwoods, but between the long maturation time of such trees, the shipping distance to bring them between continents, and the delicate ecosystems they help support in some of the most vulnerable rainforests on the planet, it’s best to leave them alone.

Kebony’s modified wood starts with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified pine. It’s a fast-growing species and forests are managed to ensure they’re harvested sustainably. This is great news on the environmental front, but pine’s relative softness doesn’t make it the best choice for home exteriors. Enter the next step—modifying this wood to withstand the challenge!

Kebony Process

After undergoing a simple yet exceptionally effective dual-modification process, Kebony wood has cell walls 50% thicker than unmodified wood. This translates to greater hardness and a longer lasting product, but it’s still just wood in the end—it makes a great investment for you and the environment.

The Modification Process

Kebony wood is just that—wood. It isn’t a composite that uses a percentage of wood fiber, like many other “eco-friendly” materials. So, if you’re serious about using a natural product, make sure to look at the whole composition.

After harvesting and milling trees, Kebony processes whole planks in two steps: impregnation and curing. During impregnation, furfuryl alcohol is infused through the board. This naturally occurring organic compound is produced through fermentation—something useful that comes from biomass discarded during farming. Furfuryl alcohol swells the wood’s cell walls to make the board dimensionally stable, so it won’t warp with exposure to moisture and changing temperatures. Curing heats the wood to lock in this cellular structural change permanently. The result is a hard, stable board with a long lifespan—all without using any toxic chemicals. Kebony wood is completely safe for you, your home, and your environment!

Kebony Clear Decking

Kebony Clear Decking is even great for poolside applications! It won’t warp like regular treated pine, and over the years, it will develop a grey patina like you could expect from tropical hardwood decking.

Durability Now, Natural Decomposition Later

When it comes to home finishing products, many people choose composites in an effort to make things last longer. Plastic alternatives look and feel cheap, though, and they still eventually wear out. When that happens, all that material inevitably pollutes the environment—whether it makes it to a landfill or not, petrochemical products will leach toxins and break down into microplastics.

Natural materials are much better for the environment because they can break down completely without creating persistent, man-made waste. Kebony wood is no exception—it is guaranteed and warrantied against rot for up to 30 years for decking and 35 years for cladding, but when it does eventually reach the end of its usable lifespan, it will decompose back to the earth. Compare that to vinyl, the most popular material for exterior finishes; it typically lasts 20-40 years before needing replacement, at which point the old stuff becomes garbage. For those who want to minimize their ecological impact, there’s no comparison.

If you’re in the market for beautiful decking and/or cladding, Kebony has you covered with extremely durable, real-wood products you can feel good about! Their products are available from local lumberyards and can be purchased directly, too. In either case, you and your contractor will appreciate how quick and easy it is to install Kebony decking and cladding!

Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online