How To: Protect Your Exterior Wood

How To: Protect Your Exterior Wood

In Bermuda we have more wood pieces in our home than most. From doors, windows, shutters, decks, and outdoor cabinets and furniture there are many pieces that have to withstand the elements. That is why it is of paramount importance to take care of not only your interior wooden pieces but your exterior pieces as well.

Taking good care of your exterior wood pieces not only gives them a longer life but also ensures your home looks great and is functional.

By protecting your exterior wood you’ll be increasing it’s lifespan, resistance to rot, decay and insect attack, and enhancing its natural beauty.

If you fail to maintain outdoor wood it will eventually rot and crack to pieces. Water seeping into the wood expands and contracts it, creating deeper and wider cracks over time.

Chemically treated lumber is able to resist rot for decades. Some wood like redwood, cedar, teak and other hardwoods contain varying degrees of natural wood preservatives. Accoya brand wood is the best out there for outdoor purposes. Their wood is impervious to rot and other types of decay and have been tested to last at least 50 years above ground and 25 years underground. Which is perfect for Bermuda.

Cleaning and sealing any outdoor wood is paramount for it’s durability and lifespan. Much like your deck, outdoor wood tables, chairs, fencing, wood playsets, etc all need the same maintenance as they all take the same abuse from Mother Nature.

Clean your exterior wood at least once a year and allow it to dry well. The washing process almost always raises the grain of the wood. This means you’ll have to sand it to get it back to that smooth furniture finish. Don’t skip this important step. Once the wood is sanded, you can seal it, if needed.

You can see why it’s important to treat wood with a water repellent on a regular basis to prevent water from getting into the wood. Do this every other year or so and your exterior wood will look fantastic instead of resembling a 50-year-old fishing pier.

There are a couple of sealants that can be used depending on how you want your wood to look like. Some wood, like Accoya, can be left to age or weather and will do so beautifully without deteriorating. However you can use wood preservatives or water repellent to both protect the wood and finish it.

A wood preservative contains chemicals that kill the fungi and insects that discolor or destroy wood. They should be handled and disposed of with care, following the instructions on the label. A water repellent is a penetrating wood finish loaded with oils or waxes designed to prevent water from soaking into wood. Water repellents also stabilize wood somewhat, reducing its tendency to check (crack) and warp.

Don’t forget about your exterior wood. As a culture that loves and enjoys the outdoors and entertainment having pieces that both last and add beauty to your home is vital. By protecting your wood you’ll have pieces that will last the elements and give your home that finished look.