When it comes to building products, heavy weight is often associated with longevity. While this may be true about some materials, is it not necessarily true about wood trim products. Sometimes, weight doesn’t equate to longevity. Unlike other composite exterior trim products, Belco XT® Trim is made of beautiful, natural SPF (spruce/pine/fir). Additionally, its lightweight nature makes it easy to install, saving time and money. But does lightweight have an impact on the longevity? The short answer – absolutely not!
Over the last decade, composite exterior trim products have become more popular within the trim industry as an alternative to natural wood. Builders
sought out an alternative to avoid the rot and deterioration that sometimes
came with using natural wood products. However, the natural wood trim industry has greatly evolved over the last decade. Belco XT® Trim is a natural wood
product, but it’s not your father’s wood. Let us tell you why. Belco was one of
the first manufacturers to use wood preservatives in exterior millwork.
Built to Last
One of the benefits of using composite trim is its longevity. However, it’s also important to consider the additives required to make this trim last. The longevity of composites is created using decay resistant fungicides, bug resistant insecticides, or borates. A similar technique, or treatment process, is used to assure Belco XT® Trim has necessary longevity in regional environments with more natural moisture like Seattle, in drier climates like Phoenix, in higher altitudes such as Denver and muggy climates along the gulf coast.
EPA approved Wolman® AG, which is the product used to treat Belco XT® Trim, uses diffusion to become absorbed into the wood cells to protect this new generation solid wood trim from a shorter service life. This treatment has two decay resistant fungicides and an insecticide to assure the sider, builder, and homeowner their Belco XT® Trim will provide a long, satisfied service life simply by maintaining the finish coat. Additionally, Belco XT® Trim is protected with a 20-year non-prorated warranty, bringing peace of mind for years to come. It’s made to last. Therefore, weight doesn’t equate to longevity.
Manufactured composite trim products require specific blade and safety equipment to protect both the sider and the environment when cutting. There is not any silica dust or other harmful particles suspended into the air when using Belco XT® Trim. Additionally, natural wood is a renewable and unstainable product, unlike composites. Lastly, Wolman® AG is a water-based and environmentally friendly treatment, unlike some of the additives used in
composite trim products.
When Weight Doesn’t Equate to Longevity
When it comes to installation, comparing Belco XT® Trim to composite trim products, is like comparing apples to oranges. A single installer can carry multiple pieces on his shoulder without them bending or breaking. Additionally, a single installer can set a 16–20-foot piece of trim on an outside corner and nail it off. Natural wood is incredibly workable and can therefore be cut and nailed without difficulty.
Let’s look at the numbers for a piece of 5/4 x4 trim. Belco XT® Trim weighs 1.65 pounds per board foot. OSB trim weighs 2.3 pounds per board foot. And cementitious trim weighs 4.3 pounds per board foot. An average home
uses about 1,200 board feet of trim. During installation, a board is handled
about three times before it’s installed. From the table below you can see how
much more weight is handled using the much heavier OSB and cementitious
Weight handled by crew
When we’re considering longevity, we not only need to think about the longevity of the product itself, but also the longevity of the siding crew. Installing Belco XT® Trim not only requires fewer bodies, but is also free of harmful chemicals that affect those bodies. Plus, the lightweight quality will provide longevity to a crewman’s career, establishing Belco XT® Trim as the superior product across the board.