If you’re considering adding a carport to your property, you may be wondering if timber is the right material for the job.
Timber carports are a popular choice because of their natural beauty and durability, but they do have some common problems that you should be aware of before making that decision.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common issues with timber carports and provide advice on how to fix them.
1. The timber carport may not be installed properly
Timber carports must be installed properly, or there are heavy consequences.
No matter what you build your carport out of, it’s important you have a thorough understanding of the ground you’re building on. But wood is especially unforgiving. Even a slight slope or instability can cause problems, especially if you’re well into construction before you realise it.
The best way to avoid this is to plan well in advance. Building a carport is a big project, so be sure you consider everything from measurements to choice of materials carefully. If you don’t have at least an intermediate level of DIY skills, we’d recommend hiring a professional. Not only will they know what to look for, but they’ll also have ways of fixing any of these issues.
2. The roofing isn’t waterproof or weatherproof
The one thing you want from your carport roof is to keep the elements out. Naturally, it’s frustrating when these needs aren’t met, but why is your roofing cracking or springing a leak? The two major components of creating a weatherproof shelter is:
- Choosing the right cladding/materials for your environment
- Installing these materials correctly using a quality design.
Poor choice in design or building material can lead to leaks which are not only annoying but can lead to issues like mould and rot over time if wood has been the material of choice. You can find additional help for carport design choices here.
Material choice must be made with your environment in mind. For example, terracotta looks great but isn’t ideal for climates with strong winds and heavy rains. Metal is a better choice for these types of conditions.
As with all building projects, you need to take your local environment into account. Certain cladding will thrive in some conditions and struggle in others, so it’s worth doing your research to find the best roofing materials for you. Chat with the local council and builders about their recommendations, especially if you’re new to an area.
3. The timber isn’t treated properly
Timber can be a great building material, but it does have a few potential weaknesses. Anyone who’s dealt with a termite problem, rot or mould, will tell you what a headache it can be. The most common method to solve this issue is by preserving the timber through a treatment.
Untreated wood or timber that’s been poorly preserved can be treated with wood stain, wood paint or a wood protector. You’ll need to re-apply these treatments over time to maintain their effectiveness.
When dealing with treated timbers, you need to be aware that the treatments have chemicals which can be harmful if not handled properly. If you’re not a hundred per cent sure you know what you’re doing, we recommend you hire someone who does, for you and your family’s safety.
4. Maintenance Issues
One of the biggest drawbacks of building with timber is the amount of maintenance it requires. No matter how good a job you do building your carport, regular maintenance is recommended to keep it looking great and to avoid bigger issues down the track. This includes regular sweeping, staying on top of treating your wood, looking for signs of damage and making sure your gutters are clear and working properly.
The best way to avoid major issues is to be vigilant. Whenever you notice a minor issue or damage, repair it as soon as possible. Problems like mould, rot and water damage don’t go away if you ignore them. Quite the opposite, they’ll only get worse if left unattended.
5. There are no gutters or downpipes, or they’ve been poorly installed.
As mentioned above, moisture is timber’s Achille’s heel. It can lead to rot, mould, and warping. While you can’t stop the rain, you can take steps to redirect the water to avoid immersion and stagnation.
While most people hire a professional to install gutters, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself if you’ve got the skills. Here are some issues to look out for whether you’re installing new gutters, or your current gutters are giving you grief.
- Poor positioning of gutters
- Not selecting the right type or size for your project
- Miscalculating the pitch
- Using too many seams
- Incorrectly spacing hangers
- Placing the downpipe in the wrong place (or not the most optimal area)
- Ignoring instructions and safety precautions.
While gutters and downpipes are simple in theory, there is an art to getting them right. A simple miscalculation can be the difference between water being drawn away from your carport and it pooling and leading to problems.
Are there alternative building materials?
Timber can be a great building material; however, it isn’t for everyone. The best alternative material to timber building your carport is Colorbond Steel. Just some of the advantages of Colorbond steel include:
- Long-lasting and sturdy
- Little to no maintenance is needed.
- Water wicking (fewer chances of leaks!)
- Environmentally sustainable
- Available in a range of colours
- Australian made
Due to its reliability, durability and stylish look, Colorbond is becoming the building material of choice for carports in Australia.
As you can see from the above, without the right amount of skill and know-how, it’s easy to make a mistake when building your carport. Installing a carport is a big job for even the keenest DIYer, so why not get in touch with the friendly team at Correct Constructions? We have the ability and skills to help create the perfect carport for you.
You’ll save time, plus have the peace of mind of having a professionally built product that will be durable, reliable, and stylish.
Correct Constructions’ custom carports can be made to perfectly match your home. Locally owned and run, we’ve been providing carport solutions to Sydney locals for over 25 years.