Tips for Maintaining and Extending the Life of Your Wood Products

Maintaining and extending the life of your wood products is essential to maximise their durability. This is especially important when it comes to your next garden project. It may sound simple, but there is more that goes into preserving your wood than you may first think. Throughout this blog, we will explore the best wood to choose and how to best look after it.

Pile of Wood: Tips for Maintaining and Extending the Life of Your Wood Products

Which wood should you choose?

One of the most important ways of ensuring the longest life possible of your chosen wood, starts with the type of wood that you select to begin with. The way that wood has been prepared varies massively on their best use and the impact on their lifespan. There are a few terms that you will regularly see listed when looking for different types of wood.

The main 3 types of wood preparation are:

  1. Untreated: these products are sawn wood that have been through no treatment processes. This is just clean cut wood, which is ideal for indoor use and projects. Often, these have a lower priced lower because of this. So, if you want to use them outside you will need to protect them. There are a range of ways that you can treat them including oils, stains, varnish and much more. It’s worth checking which one is most suitable based on the project and use they are being used for. The main use for this type of wood is for indoor use and projects.
  2. Dipped: this is where the wood products have been immersed or ‘dipped’ into a bath of wood treatment. This helps to preserve the wood helping to prevent rot and fungal decay. This of this as a spray tan for your wood. Over time, or initially if you want to be really proactive, you will need to reapply more layers of protection. This is good as the baseline option for outdoor use.
  3. Pressure treated: this is the most intensive process for preserving wood for outdoor use. The wood is initially put into a pressure chamber, which removes all of the air from inside the timber. Following this there is a preservation treatment solution added and pressurised to force the absorption into the wood. This solution is great for the preservation of the wood and absorption, helping to maintain and extend the life of your wood. This is the option we would recommend for all outdoor uses to get the longest life from your wood.

The majority of the time the solution used to treat the wood has been selected for specific reasons. They usually use chemicals that don’t negatively impact the soil and have been selected to preserve them for longer. It’s always worth considering what project you are working on before selecting the correct wood for the job.

What’s the best treatment for maintaining and extending the life of your wood?

If you’re really looking at maintaining and extending the life of your wood, we would recommend giving an extra treatment. This applies to any wood you are planning on using outside. This applies for all types, even if its been pressure treated. This is because even if its been treated it wont be waterproof. So it wont suffer with rot, fungi decay or get eaten by bugs but it can still get very wet. Applying another layer of protection can help maintain and extend the life of your wood from the elements. The sun and rain can be brutal to the longevity of wood.

What are the main types of additional wood treatment?

  1. Penetrative wood treatments: these products are used to soak into the wood to protect them from within. These tend to be products such as decking oils, shed and fence treatments. They are usually oil and wax based products, working by drying on the surface of the wood. They provide a tough and durable, weather resistant surface. The main benefit is they’re easy to apply without any prior treatment such as sanding and can be reapplied at any time to top them up.
  2. Exterior coating treatment: there is a wide range of wood coating solutions including paints and wood varnishes. These have been designed to coat the wood and protect it from weathering. These are particularly good as they allow for the movement of the timber. This naturally occurs with changes in temperature and moisture. The main benefit of these is that they are extremely durable and flexible, needing minimal input to maintain. They will show that they need an extra layer and some TLC when their top layer and colour starts to fade. This is ideal for fencing, window frames and doors.

What do we suggest & Top Tips?

If you’re really looking at maintaining and extending the life of your wood, we recommend purchasing pressure treated wood. We also suggest giving an extra layer of protection to any wood you are planning on using outside. This is because:

  1. Add extra layers of protection. Added durability will help with maintaining and extending the life of your wood.
  2. Think long term. When initially buying your wood products, you may think that pressure treated is more expensive and may not be worth the extra cost. In the long run, we definitely suggest that it is and will save you money due to the increased life of the wood. Think about how you are using the wood and the best additional treatment to suit your needs.
  3. Think about maintenance. If you don’t want to have hassle long term, buy from assured quality supplier. It’s also worth spending more time preparing the wood before installing it.
  4. We are FSC Certified meaning that we only source wood from sustainably managed forests. When buying wood, its always worth making sure it comes from a company that cares about the sustainable management and future of our forests (even if its not us).

If you have any questions about your next project and would like some more information, contact us here. If you’re ready to place an order we will be happy to help and our online shop is here.

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