A. There is no such thing as a magic product. All things require maintenance. If you want a really natural look, you have two options: white or red cedar shingles. White cedar patina with a uniform silver color, while red cedar can become stained. If you live near the ocean, red cedar shingles can turn blackish (often with powdery mildew). However, red cedar has tighter grain and more tannins, which makes it far more resistant to insects and rot.
To answer your question, if you prefer a natural wood finish and 20 years of worry free, I would go with white cedar. If you want the shingles to last even longer, use western red cedar.
Some people use red cedar and treat it with a bleaching oil to control powdery mildew and naturally weatherproof the shingles. Cedar shingles require permanent initial treatment and some maintenance to ensure durability and appearance. Most professionals recommend reapplying the bleach oil every five to seven years. I recommend starting in year four and doing one page per year. Dividing the house into parts makes it more manageable. Using PVC cladding makes sense.
Q. A year and a half ago we renovated our bathroom and installed a Wedi system for a fully tiled shower, including the walls and floor. However, since its completion, water has seeped away from the edge where the wall meets the floor. It stays wet between showers (24 hours) after daily wiping and towel drying. Now we often get a small puddle on the floor that comes back after wiping it. We have no signs of leakage from the ceiling under the bathroom. We have contacted our contractor several times about this issue and they have no answer as to what is going on or what to do to fix the problem. It’s not a lot of water, but my concern is mold and mildew over time.
The last thing I want to do is rip it up, but I want reassurance that it’s okay to stay the way it is. Our contractor reached out to various people on site and no one heard about this issue. What are your thoughts? Thanks for your help.
A. You did not give me enough information to diagnose your problem. Photos would help. But I will say in my experience that most of these cases are related to the shower door dripping after a shower or spraying through the door seams or around the curtain causing puddles. If the shower has been properly installed and all Wedi materials have been used as a complete system, a limited 10 year warranty applies from the time of completion. Peace of mind for the homeowner.
In the event of improper installation, however, the responsibility for the repair lies solely with the contractor. At best, you haven’t called and spoken to the right people and I can help you with that.
Send me pictures and I will put you in touch with the wedi regional representative to make a “claim”. However, this person may request that the contractor be on site if an inspection needs to be carried out. This can include stripping tiles from walls and floors.
Rob Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter, publisher of AConcordCarpenter.com and head of a joinery and renovation company. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @globeaddress or @robertrobillard.