Wood Care

Wood Protection | Wood Care

How to look after wood

HANDLING WOOD

Firstly please handle with care - The timber products that are produced by our suppliers are designed and manufactured using the best available techniques to ensure the highest quality. The way they are handled and stored can affect their long-term performance. Good practice avoids damage, maintains quality and saves you money.

Unload and handle with care to avoid knocking against hard surfaces (as timber will bruise). Some products will have clean, refined, sharp edges so caution will be needed to avoid damage to the item and to you! We recommend that appropriate gloves are used to avoid splinters and marking of the timber.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR ITEMS AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY/COLLECTION

Items should be checked to ensure that they are in accordance with the order schedule, the delivery is complete and that each item, including any protective packaging, is not damaged.

For long term performance of the item and finish, it is important that this moisture content is maintained during storage on site and during the construction process.

Installation of wood or joinery products

We recommend that you employ a professional carpenter or joinery to carry out the installation of any timber products. You may find a suitable installer in your area on our database of related services.

The method of installation will be determined by product type and what it is being fixed to. Careful consideration as to the type and number of fixings is also needed. As a general rule; use non-ferrous metals or stainless steel for external timbers. Some timbers do react with metals leaving stains – notes on the specific materials will identify potential conflicts. For internal products you may wish to use ferrous metals or adhesives. But the internal environment still needs to be considered- an area of high humidity may cause similar problems to that of external exposure.

To reduce the visual impact of a fixing we recommend the use of a timber pellet (in the same species as the timber being fixed) these can be extracted from an off cut of the timber using a specific pellet cutter with a corresponding drill bit to form the hole (for the fixing). Better still; secret fixings could be used either with clips/brackets or fixed through faces that are not ultimately seen. There are also suitable adhesives but caution is needed when using this method; if there is movement and the timber is adhered to a surface, splitting can occur.

When fixing cladding, decking or flooring (or any timber boarding that is covering a large surface area) it is important to introduce expansion gaps. This will depend on exposure and moisture content. It is also important to allow the boards to move in these situations. As the timber takes on moisture it will expand forcing against adjacent boards if gaps are insufficient. By the same affect; if boards are already very wet and then exposed to dry, hot conditions they will shrink - increasing the gaps between the boards.

Linear Boards - For wide boards being fixed to a wall or flat substrate – consider the use of more than one fixing across the board width to reduce ‘cupping’. The number of fixings along the run of timber can vary but 400-600mm centres is a common spacing.

Maintenance of Wood

Our timber products are designed and engineered to meet the requirements and expectations of modern living and construction. Any product - whether it is a boiler, washing machine, car, window, and door (of any material) – will need some form of maintenance in order to ensure a long service life. Failure to keep to a planned maintenance schedule may at best ruin the products appearance and, at worst, lead to the early deterioration of the components.

Most of our products are solid timber products and therefore relatively easy to look after – but they still need care. This will depend on their intended use and location (exposure to the elements). You may have already made your timber selection (see above for more help on this) and you will have an intended use for the product. You may also have decided how to install (see above) you now need to plan maintenance/monitoring schedule and the following needs to be considered to help determine this;

Location of product – it is external? Is in a south facing position? Is it exposed to sunlight? Is it in a room with high humidity?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions the chances are your maintenance should be fairly regular.

The type and level of maintenance required will depend on the item’s location and exposure to the weather. An external joinery item in a south facing position in a coastal area will deteriorate far quicker than one that is north facing and sheltered from the wind and rain.

It is important to remember that regular, minimal maintenance will make re-decorating a far easier job.

Mould and algae - All external items can suffer from mould and algae caused by airborne spores, which settle on the surface (which is why exterior plastic products go grey over time).

To remove mould and algae, wash with a solution of one part bleach to two parts water, and leave for 20 minutes to work. Then rinse. If the blemish is stubborn, scrub with a stiff nylon bristle (not metallic) brush.

Cleaning and washing - Wash external, decorated products with hot water and liquid detergent every 6 months. Rinse with clean water. During this process it is advisable to inspect for defects and take action if necessary.

Damage - If any part of the items coating system is damaged to the point of showing bare timber you should consult the coating manufacturer’s guidelines, determine the appropriate coating material to use and apply their practical instructions on how to maintain/reinstate the coating. Click for more about wood care and decoration.

The storage place should be prepared in advance and the items unloaded straight into it.

Timber items should be stored in a dry internal environment (ideally in a room or area similar in conditions to the proposed final location). If external items have to be stored outside they must be kept clear of the ground on level bearers and protected from dampness and sunlight with a tarpaulin or other adequate cover (please note - polythene sheeting should not be used as this can act like a greenhouse and encourage damp or humid conditions). There must be space for air circulation.

Internal items or furniture must not be stored outside.

Protection from dirt and damage should be used but without restricting air circulation.

Ensure that the moisture content of the timber is kept close to the level at which it was when it was manufactured.

Whenever possible store items in the sequence they will be needed with codes or identifying marks visible to avoid double handling. Avoid dragging them across each other if stacked.

Please treat the items like a piece of furniture.

We recommend that experienced site carpenters/joiners are employed to install the items that we manufacture.

If any part of the item is cut or drilled, swab the newly exposed timber with a suitable preservative material (if external and appropriate to the timber species) and re-coat with primer, stain, oil or wax (the chosen coating).