How to Maintain the Wood Structures in Your Garden
Wood is an excellent choice for building structures in your garden. Besides the fact that it saves costs, it’s also eco-friendly. But then, wood has two great nemesis – moisture and insect attack. Since your garden structure will stay outdoors across all seasons, there’s a chance that the wood will go through a great deal of weather stress. Ultimately, if the wood doesn’t crumble from rot, it’ll crumble due to insect attacks – and your plants may not be spared.
To keep your wooden structures, furniture, and tools in your garden safe, you’ll need to treat them periodically. The good news is that maintaining wood is neither hard nor costly. Here’s how to maintain the wood in your garden:
5 Wood Maintenance Methods You Must Know
Before you go deep into cleaning your wooden garden furniture and structures, you must first know the type of wood used for building. Ideally, if you use hardwood for your garden furniture or structures, you won’t have to worry much about maintenance. Why? Hardwoods are naturally durable and resistant to weathering, insect attack, and rot. Despite their durability, hardwoods are prone to losing their color after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Hence to maintain the shine, it’s important to clean and polish the wood periodically. Softwood garden furniture isn’t left out either. With softwood, you’ll need to periodically clean and treat them as they have lesser durability. Here are five wood maintenance methods you should use for your garden structures and furniture:
Menial Washing and Scrubbing
One of the easiest maintenance regimens for garden furniture and structure is periodically washing and scrubbing off dirt. Dusting also falls under this category as it keeps your wooden garden furniture free of dust stains and potential build-up of dirt. Since moisture is risky for wood, you’ll need to expose the garden furniture for intense drying by sunlight. To help fast-track the drying process, you can pressure dry the furniture using a blower.
Although moisture is a nemesis for wood, you’ll still need to use water to clean wooden garden structures. Because most wood furniture and structures in the garden are left outdoors for long periods, they often accumulate dirt, mold, and mildew. While you can occasionally wash and scrub wooden furniture, it may not be enough to remove stubborn dirt and mold – especially for hardwood. In this case, you can use a thin pressure hose attached to a cleaning mixture to wash down stubborn dirt and mold. Be sure to dry the garden furniture with a blower and sunlight after washing.
Charring is an old wood preservation method that was formed in Japan. It’s a maintenance technique that’s best suited for softwood which is prone to rot and moisture. Rather than burning the wood crisp, charring simply burns the wood’s surface layer, which helps drain moisture and slow down aging. As such, charring helps softwood become more rot-resistant and waterproof. It also helps with making the wood more resistant to insect attack and weathering. All you need for charring your wooden garden structures is a blowtorch.
Besides the loss of strength that comes with weathering, wooden structures are bound to lose their shine after being exposed to harsh weather conditions. One of the ways by which you can reduce the effect of weathering is to coat the wood with protective oil stains. Oil staining is a method whereby you coat the wood in any wood preservative oil of your choice. This helps strengthen the wood to become resistant to water and insect attacks. The great deal about oil staining is that it also preserves the beauty of wooden garden structures and furniture. There’s always a unique shine that comes with oiling wooden garden structures. Rather than lose color due to sun exposure, they’ll glimmer under the sun.
If you’re a person who loves splashing colors, then you’ll love this maintenance method. Besides giving your wooden structure a proper wash or you failed to get the best outlook after charring, you can simply paint over the dull wood. There are many eco-friendly paints to choose from, and the good news is that you can paint creatively without limits. The painting also serves as a protective layer against harsh weather conditions and could help repel insects.
What Can You Do?
There are multiple methods for maintaining the wood in your garden. Some are easier and less costly than others, and some require specialized hands. While washing is the easiest and cheapest on the list, it may not be sufficient – especially if you’re concerned about the dull wooden appearance. Charring is great but has a limited application – it requires an expert. For oil staining and painting, you need to choose the right preservatives. Otherwise, you’ll end up with toxic chemicals that can harm your garden.
With no less than three decades in the wood construction and maintenance industry, LongHouse Cedar has the experience, skills, and tools to give you the best forestry products in the industry. Let’s get started on your garden structures today.