|Some Interesting Facts About Wood |
|Have you ever noticed how much wood is around you? Take a minute and look around you. Indoors we find oak, pine, redwood, cedar and mahogany. Outside we find the same woods used for seating and extra living space. Wood is a big part of our lives. You clean and protect your wood furniture inside. Why wouldn't you take the same kind of care of the wood you use outdoors?|
The cost of wood is increasing at an alarming rate. Today, the replacement cost for a wood deck or fence can be out of reach for many homeowners. We are actually running out of trees, and wood is being replaced every day that could have been saved with good maintenance.
|The Weathering Process of Wood |
|The forces of weathering can be devastating to wood. Moisture from rain, snow, and dew, are quickly absorbed by unprotected wood causing it to swell while washing out the natural wood resins and coloring. The heat from the sun dries and shrinks the wood. These daily cycles of wet and dry swelling and shrinking causes the wood to warp, splinter, cup, crack and become discolored while also allowing the sunlight (UV) rays to break down the cell structure and degrade the woods integrity. These factors combine to physically and chemically attack the woods lignin, (the chemical structure (glue) that holds the wood fibers together. Moisture that is allowed to sit in the wood will soon serve as a natural food source for mold, mildew, algae, and fungus causing black, green or gray discoloration.|
|Even Worse for Wood |
|Since decks are horizontal surfaces, they hold water, snow and dew for longer periods of time and this accelerates the damaging effects. Decks get up to 40 percent more UV radiation from sunlight than comparable vertical surfaces. The prolonged dampness attracts dirt from atmospheric pollution and airborne fungal spores.|
The temperature difference between the sun exposed top of the board and the shaded bottom can be as much as 50 degrees F. In addition to this, decks are subject to more foot traffic than other structures.