Monday, 11 August 2008

Give your timber shed a treat

This summer's rather soggy weather could have a disastrous effect on garden timber that hasn’t been properly looked after. Here are some top tips on keeping your wood looking good.

Exposure to moisture can cause the grain of badly maintained garden sheds and summerhouses to expand and split. Wet wood also encourages the growth of algae, fungus and mould that is both unsightly.

If your garden timber is looking tired and grey, then don't panic. When cared for correctly, outdoor timber can last for up to 25 years – and there is still time to treat even weather-damaged wood with a protective coating before even colder, damper winter conditions sets in. Follow these simple treatment tips for all your garden woodwork and it will be ready for anything the British weather can throw at it!

1. Preparing your timber

Try to pick a dry (but not over-hot) spell to carry out garden timber maintenance and allow time for the timber to dry out before you start. Test the condition of the timber before you apply a treatment.

2. Treatment tips

All things timber in your garden – whether fence panels, garden buildings, furniture, garden decking or structures – will benefit from treatment with a good timber care product every so often, to enhance the beauty of the wood and protect the surface. Most garden timber products are dipped in a dye during manufacture to make the wood grain look consistent, but this colour isn’t permanent and gradually fades when exposed to the elements. In time wood that is left untreated becomes that familiar silvery-grey colour with a rough, bark-like surface, as the grain gradually opens and lets in moisture. If you wait this long then it may be almost impossible to reverse!

Instead, when timber is around one year old, sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from the dry surface and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood just like a skin moisturiser. They also contain anti-fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens. There is a wide choice of timber care products, some combining treatment with a coloured wood stain for extra impact.

No comments: