Wood is a beautiful, natural material that has captivated property owners for centuries. However, it also has a number of vulnerabilities. Aside from the fact that it is vulnerable to moisture and insects such as termites, it can also be damaged by the ravages of aging. Below are some tips to repair aging woodwork.
How Age Affects Wood
Before you can correctly repair damaged wood, it is essential to understand how age affects it. Over time, wood will be exposed to moisture that comes from rain or other sources. This is especially true for wood that is used in furniture that is kept outdoors with an open design. Once the moisture gets beneath the sill, it will soak into the material and it won’t be long before the wood starts to deteriorate.
The biggest threat to wood is fungus. Rot comes in two forms, one which is dry and the other which is wet. Dry rot usually has an orange color whereas wet rot is not. Each type is the result of a fungus that thrives in environments where moisture is present, although wet rot requires a much higher level (usually about 50 percent), while dry rot occurs at around 20 percent.
If the issue is not addressed, large wooden pieces will disintegrate completely if any attempt is made to move it. What makes things worse is that depending on the location, it can be difficult to detect the rot, and months or even years can pass before owners notice something is amiss, because no damage will be visible on the surface itself. Most people won’t realize something is wrong until the wooden furniture begins to crumble and shrink. When the problem is discovered, most people think the situation is hopeless and promptly toss the furniture into the dumpster, but there are a number of steps that can be taken to rehabilitate the wood.
How To Repair Aging Woodwork
The first step towards repairing aging woodwork is to stop the front of the furniture or structure from collapsing. To do this you will want to add temporary posts which are used to support the structure, as it takes the load away from the existing posts. Rip out every wooden piece that is rotted, and then replace it with new ones that are pressure treated. The temporary posts can be removed after the new ones have been put in place. When working with outdoor woodcraft, whether it is bench or a porch, it is important to always use wood that is pressure treated and resistant to decay. It is inevitable that wooden structures kept outdoors will come into contact with moisture at some point and you don’t want the liquid becoming trapped beneath the wood. You want it to drain rapidly, and though this may seem obvious to woodcraft experts, you’d be surprised at the number of people that don’t do it.