It's of vital importance to do your best to preserve your wooden items that have to endure the outside conditions. Without giving them the proper protection, they need from moisture, sun, salt, rain and frost can have a drastic effect on the appearance and stability of the structures.
Wood structures can pretty much last forever with the right care and by following some simple rules.
When purchasing your wood, ensure it has been dried thoroughly to avoid shrinkage in the future and if there are any signs of the wood being green, don’t bother with it, save yourself the trouble.
The most common type of wood chosen for outdoor use will be treated, particularly pressure treated fir or pine. These types are easier to acquire and cheaper than that of untreated Cedar or Redwood, though treated wood does have its drawbacks.
- It’s possible for it is quite expensive
- In recent years there has been an increasing concern over the safety of the chemicals used in the process of treating the wood
Note that pressure-treated wood is available in two types: ground contact and above ground. For any part of your structure that is going to be in contact with the ground, make sure to use the ground contact timber.
Regular use of a preservative treatment to avoid decay is a must. Most good DIY stores will stock good quality preservatives. The most common form of treatment you will find will be a form of water treatment, which will consist of an oil or water-based liquid. Repelling water is key to discouraging the growth of fungi and moulds which can jeopardise its integrity.
You’ve got two choices here, Unnatural or Natural. Neither requires a lot of effort or maintenance.
Unnatural: Exterior paint is the more common choice applied when using rough or cheap lumber like plywood or pine. Apply a 2-coat minimum of primer for the best results, making sure each coat has fully dried before applying the next.
Natural: If you're using a more expensive timber such as Redwood then this is the one for you. These types of stain have been developed to augment instead of overpowering the natural beauty of the wood with a range of pigments from transparent to semi-coloured.
Natural: If your shed is made of expensive wood like redwood, this will be the finish to use. These stains are designed to enhance rather than overpower the natural beauty of the wood, with the pigments ranging from transparent to semi-coloured.
Live in or very close toa coastal region? You will need to take some extra precautions when wanting to give your wood the best protection it can have and repeat the steps above more regularly.
Coastal regions don’t just have a higher concentration of air moisture but far more salt as well. This spray can eat away at the cellular structure and leave wood seriously weakened.