Now that you are the proud owner of an English Heritage Buildings oak frame structure,
there are a few things you will need to consider. These considerations are important for maintaining the natural beauty of your timber building.

As your frame seasons, it will gradually lose its moisture. This will result in visual changes to your frame, and the process is particularly apparent in the first few years.

Treatment of internal oak timbers can help to limit excessive movement and cracking. Internal oak timbers can be treated with a variety of products or left untreated as you wish. External oak timbers, meanwhile, can be left to weather to a silver-grey colour.

Exposure to the elements may cause oak to bleed onto the brickwork and stones. This can leave rust-like stains, but these stains will fade in time and, if desired, can be cleaned with a suitable brickwork cleaner.

Weatherboard

weatherboard

The general maintenance of your weatherboard will depend on local climate conditions and the type of weatherboard that has been supplied for your frame. You should always refer to the manufacturer’s application recommendations. Follow their guidelines accordingly.

You should only need to maintain the weatherboard every 5-8 years under normal exposure conditions. However, in highly exposed locations, you can expect a need for more frequent maintenance.

Softwood Weatherboard

Your softwood weatherboard comes treated with XILIX GOLD 760 wood preservative. This water-based treatment is an effective insecticide product, working well against the wood-borer larvae of various beetle species.

Stain as soon as possible with the colour of your choice to stop water penetration and to give an even colouring. If left unstained, the timber will weather unevenly and turn a patchy grey colour in appearance. Untreated boarding will also absorb moisture, leaving the inside face of the weatherboard damp during long periods of inclement weather.

Fire-Retardant Softwood Weatherboard

Your Fire-Retardant Softwood Weatherboard comes treated with SENTRIN FRX fire-retardant chemical, necessary to meet the testing requirements of BS EN13501-01:2007 fire classification of construction products and building elements.

No further treatment is needed. If you wish to decorate, please check that the product you are planning to use is compatible for use with SENTRIN FRX Exterior. Using a non-compatible product may affect the fire-retardant properties of the weatherboarding.

Oak Weatherboard

Due to its natural properties, oak weatherboard is prone to shrinking and splitting. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can prevent this. You may also notice a small amount of mildew forming on the faces of the board.

Oak weatherboard provides the perfect conditions for mildew spores to develop due to the moisture content, and can be more apparent during the warmer months. This is a normal feature of oak weatherboard and will disappear over time, as the oak weathers, to an attractive silver-grey.

Joinery

joinery

The joinery leaves the factory having been base-coated. The base coat will protect the joinery while it is being handled prior to installation.

An important note: The base coat is not a sufficient finish. You must apply a topcoat as soon as possible.

You will need to apply your chosen topcoat to your joinery units as soon as the installation has been completed. Ensure all the edges and faces of your units are treated, paying particularly close attention to the tops and bottoms.

You should also note that once you have chosen a product to decorate your joinery, it is essential that you follow the application guidelines. Any additional coats of treatment are the customer’s responsibility.

Be aware that leaving joinery untreated may lead to cracking, splitting, or movement in the timber. English Heritage Buildings cannot be held responsible for this.

All joinery should be treated as soon as possible on both sides, top, bottom and both edges. This will prevent water stains and prevent water from being absorbed into the timber, thereby reducing the risk of problems with doors and windows and helping with maintenance and cleaning.

Prolonging the Life of Your Joinery

In order to extend the life of your joinery, you can:

Inspect the windows annually
Repair any small patches of coating damage promptly
Redecorate when the lower parts of the joinery show general signs of wear
Wash it with a solution of warm water and liquid detergent
Keep moving parts i.e., hinges, locks, handles, etc., free of grit, dirt, or mortar. Clean them regularly and apply white lithium grease for hinges and a Teflon-based dry lubricant for locks.
Do not paint over rubber gaskets or ironmongery

Gutters and Downpipes

Cleaning your gutters and downpipes regularly can increase their life expectancy, so make sure that you take the time to properly inspect and clear them.

If there are no signs of structural damage, then a thorough cleaning should be all that is required. Cleaning your gutters twice yearly, at the end of Spring, and again at the end of Autumn, will suffice.

Here are some tips on what to look out for and what to do when inspecting your gutters during the year:

  • Blocked downpipes and leaky joints during heavy rain
  • Making sure gullies at ground level are kept clean
  • Making sure vegetation is kept away from downpipes (this can be achieved by cutting it back or removing it)
  • Fitting bird or leaf guards to soil pipes and rainwater outlets to help prevent blockages
  • If your gutters are sloping the wrong way or discharging onto the wall, have them repaired

How to Clear Your Gutters

You will need to begin by cleaning any debris off your roof, using a rake or yard brush.

Using gloved hands or a small garden trowel, clear the gutters of any debris.

Flush any of the finer bits of debris down towards the downpipe using a garden hose. Ensure that water is flowing properly down the spout* when you do this.

*If you have a downpipe that is connected directly to underground drains DO NOT flush a blockage with the hosepipe.

Clearing a Blockage in Your Gutters

To clear a blockage in a downpipe you will need to take it apart, dislodge the blockage, and connect it back together.

Using a screwdriver, gently tap the downpipe where there are no blockages. You should hear a hollow sound in return. Once you have located your blockage, use a screwdriver to unscrew the downpipe clips and brackets from the wall and dismantle as much of the downpipe as necessary. Clear the pipe of the blockage and reassemble.

Remember to apply a silicone lubricant to the seals of the pieces you dismantled.