In our nation's not too distant history, wood was plentiful and inexpensive. When exterior wood structures started to wear out, it was a simple matter of replacing them, without great expense. Our dwindling forestlands have made wood an increasingly precious commodity. As a result, the cost of building your deck or fence goes up every year. Wood isn't lasting as long as it once did, because of the use of young stock. In addition, 20 years ago, redwood and cedar had a higher natural resistance to the climatic elements, called tannin resin. Today, that is no longer the case. Today's wood comes from young growth timber which have a much lesser amount of natural tannin for protection. As a result, unless we preserve what we have, the devastating effects of weather can decrease the life of our investment.
But, what causes your wood to deteriorate?
The enemies of your exterior wood surfaces are:
Ultraviolet light - Like your skin, solar radiation is the most damaging element of the natural environment. What once was a beautiful oak, redwood or cedar color turns to a lifeless gray. This is a result of the decomposition of lignin or the bond that holds wood cells together.
Water Absorption - Rain, melting snow, and morning dew combined with the sun causes your wood to leach/swell/shrink. As a result your wood will react to these moisture fluctuations casing it to crack and split, and eventually rot.
Fungus, Mildew, Mold - As your wood's natural protectants leach out, your wood will quickly develop wood-inhabiting fungi that will soften and crack and if not treated properly can also lead to wood rot.
Fortunately, Wood Savers Inc. with our affordable wood treatment program, now makes it possible for homeowners to maintain their decks, fences, gazebos, playgrounds, siding and roofs therefore increasing their service life and beauty. Our restoration and preservation process combined with our commercial-grade product combats and eliminates the effects of wood's natural enemies.
So, when do you treat new wood?
New wood should be allowed to dry or cure, bringing the moisture content down to a suitable level to allow the pores in the wood to penetrate the preservative/sealant for protection. We recommend waiting 4-7 weeks after construction for redwood and cedar. Pressure-treated wood or CCA treated lumber is injected with chemicals to resist decay, rot and termite invasion. For this type of wood, we recommend applying only a water seal shortly after construction to prevent moisture damage, but wait approximately 6 months before applying an actual preservative.