As a home builder or building materials supplier, your ultimate goal is customer satisfaction. You want to provide materials to your client that provide a high level of reliability, perform as advertised, and are cost-conscious. Remaining profitable is of paramount importance to any business, and that means choosing products that meet today’s budget needs as well as the need to perform well over the long-haul.
Deciding what material to use for exterior trim applications should take into consideration the long-term potential for product stability. Trim systems made up of manufactured composite materials may offer faster installation and seem to be the answer to scheduling issues, but if there is a failure in the product, all the time that saved can be lost in rectifying the problem.
There is a saying, “time is money.” That adage is just as true in the world of building materials as it is anywhere else. And lost time is never made up. It is eventually carried forward as an increased cost against future profits, which shows up in ways that may not be obvious.
- First, your client will not be happy with a premature product failure on their new home.
- It results in the loss of trust between you and your client as they wonder what else will fail prematurely.
- It can affect the relationship between you and your installers as they have to return to a project they thought was complete.
- There is the added administrative stress of dealing with the supplier or suppliers to manage the warranty repair and then waiting for your money.
- Repair work upsets what can often be a delicately-balanced work schedule for the trades.
- You will want to source a different product for the repair, so the same problem doesn’t occur again.
These major inconveniences and budget breakers can be avoided by sourcing the right product for the job. Determining which product is best for the application involves more than considering the availability and purchase price. Of course, both are factors that need to be considered, but they are not the main issue when it comes to the long-term performance of exterior trim products.
How to avoid callbacks
In today’s environment of “system-type” installations, many builders forgo using natural wood for exterior trim and instead opt for composite products that have the look of natural wood. Many of these manufactured products perform well, but all of them require specific installation requirements, if not followed exactly, can result in the early failure of the installation. In all cases of early product failure, there is an increased risk of moisture intrusion. The ensuing damage that will follow once the exterior envelope is broken can be substantial. Some of the potential problems are:
- Fastener malfunctions
- Improper glue/caulk joints
- Installers not following step-by-step guidelines
- Product failure due to manufacturing issues
Properly dried and sealed, wood is still the best all-around option for exterior trim products
Wood is natural and environmentally friendly and still the favorite option of many builders. The issue that builders have had to contend with in the past was fiber movement in the form of cupping and warping in wood products that were not properly dried and sealed. That issue has been dealt with at Belco Forest Products.
The use of properly kiln dried wood is the key along with a quality assurance process to ensure consistent product performance. Properly kiln drying wood permits the center of the wood to dry while the outside edges stay soft and supple, thereby allowing the wood to dry more evenly than other processes. Once the wood has reached the designed moisture content the material is ready for shaping and treatment on all sides with Wolman AG Preservative Treatment from Lonza. Wolman AG is a non-metal based treatment product that has been registered with the EPA and qualifies under the Window & Door Manufacturer’s Association Hallmark Certification Program.
The Belco quality assurance process in combination with proper drying techniques, preservative treatment with Wolman AG as well as applying an effective primer with mold and mildew inhibitors makes Belco XT® Trim Products sourced from all-natural wood a perfect choice for long lasting exterior millwork performance for you and your customers.