Shou Sugi Ban Wood Siding

Shou Sugi Ban, a traditional Japanese wood siding known as Yakisugi in its native country, is becoming a popular Seattle siding choice for high-end homes.

What Is Shou Sugi Ban?

Shou Sugi Ban is a natural, nontoxic way to preserve wood, traditionally using wood milled from the Japanese cedar or Sugi cypress tree. This wood is milled into a variety of profiles and then charred depending on the desired look of the siding. The charred wood siding is a beautiful and sophisticated option to use either as an accent, or for your entire house.

Shou Sugi Ban Process

The burn process starts by binding three planks together in a long triangle, oriented vertically. Then a fire is started in the interior of the triangle and allowed to burn for seven to 10 minutes, resulting in the desired one-eighth inch of charring.

After the bundle is opened, the fire is put out with water, and the boards are completely dry, the wood is brushed to remove excess soot. Brushing is also a way to manipulate the look of the charred siding. After brushing is complete, the planks are washed again and dried out. At this point, the charred wood siding is ready for use or can be further finished with oil, providing color protection and a sleeker look.

The modern burn process employs large kilns and burners to allow for mass production, and ultimately a layer of carbon is left on the finished planks to encourage resistance to mold, insects, water, and fire damage.

Shou Sugi Ba Process

Shou Sugi Ban Siding in Madison Park

Wood Options for Shou Sugi Ban

In the United States, many different types of wood are being used to produce Shou Sugi Ban siding, including fir, spruce, cedar, and accoya. Accoya is a particularly interesting choice since it is already chemically treated for endurance and element resistance, making it an extremely robust and quality product when used to produce Shou Sugi Ban siding.

Benefits of Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban siding requires little to no maintenance besides the occasional reapplication of oil or sealer to extend its life and maintain its original aesthetic qualities. Left on its own without any further oiling, the burnt wood siding behaves the same as any other exposed raw wood.

The wood’s endurance and weathering will depend on exposure, oxidization, and aging, thus creating a natural wood patina. If the wood patina style isn’t what you’re looking for, be sure to refinish your Shou Sugi Ban siding regularly.

This type of siding has been mostly used for accents in Seattle, but Synapse Construction has done a couple of entire homes using Shou Sugi Ban. As with any siding in Seattle, it does need to be installed properly to benefit from its low maintenance and high durability.

If you have any questions about Shou Sugi Ban siding or any other siding materials or methods, contact us today

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