Our houses are mostly, if not entirely made of wood. As easy as wood is to access, it can be a pain in the neck once you settle in your new home and neglect it in terms of maintenance. You may not notice the rotting damage immediately as it progresses over months. Slight ignorance may go a long way to an extent of having to replace your entire floor. In severe cases, it would mean having to rebuild your whole house. This can be avoided with just a few pointers on how to maintain the quality of your wood to ensure a longer lifespan.
1. Have an inspection routine.
Consider having one of those free days where you go round your house checking for cracks, holes, mite pathways and chipped paint. These are the signs that result in rotting if not addressed. Taking these findings to a professional is a good idea, as he will recommend on measures to take to control the damage from spreading to other areas of your home. As you do this, remember to record the inspection day and skip a month or two before inspecting again.
2. Trim your trees.
Unkempt trees are a source of damage to wood as they length could reach to the wood scrapping off the paint. Painted wood lasts longer because the paint acts as a protective element from harm. The branches of the tree can cause your exterior walls to get holes if long enough when it’s windy. Trim your branches to make sure none of this happens and make sure the paint that you use on your exterior is waterproof.
3. Go for treated wood.
You are probably a country person and want to settle in your own land and build your home yourself. Before thinking of getting wood from your farm, you should consider having not only quality but also treated wood. Wood is treated to prevent invasion from termites and insects. Get professionals to come and inspect your wood as they treat it.
4. Check for rot.
Rot does not occur in visible areas only. The most hidden part of your wood furnishings is also vulnerable. Rot is mostly found on horizontal surfaces such as railings and stringers. To find out whether there is rotting, use your finger to press on the affected area. It tends to feel soft and weak. That shows that the problem is slowly developing into a bigger one. Get help soon as you observe these signs.
5. Clean your wood.
As you are doing your normal wood cleaning, it is very hard to notice tiny leaves that fall into the cracks on your floor or exterior walls. When not gotten rid of, the leaves may attract moisture cause rot on your wood. You could use a thin metallic object like needle or screwdriver to get in there and scoop the leaves out. Be sure to dry that area completely to make sure no moisture is left. Untreated wood rotting will spread to other areas of the wood causing structural damage.
6. Clean your gutters.
Gutters act as a passage for water. If there is a strain of water passing through your gutter, which means that there is a blockage. Ensure that you regularly check for clogs to prevent wash back of water that may reach into your wood and cause rotting. Do this before the rainy season begins just to be safe. Some of the leaves that fall into the gutter, small stones, and accumulated dust over a period are the main causes of clogs.
7. Use wood cleaning agents.
Do not just clean your wood with soap and water. Get those cleaning agents from the store. Things like sheens leave your woodwork looking shiny and less easy to be attacked by mites. You could even think of coating the wood with varnish for a longer lifespan. Maintained wood looks attractive as well. Before buying the wood cleaning products, get advice from the store as to which will be gentle and more effective.
8. Opt for other materials in your bathroom.
If you are not sure you can maintain wood in your bathrooms, it is better that you get an alternative to wood instead. The bathroom is always prone to water as its name suggests. This may cause rot after continued use over a long period. You could go for tiles, which are far much better and can handle water since they do not rot.
9. Avoid leaving food on your floors for long.
As you prepare or eat food, some of it tends to drop down and since you may be in a hurry, you may think of cleaning the mess up in the evening after work. The food will attract roaches, mites or flies along with other insects whose next favorite meal would be chewing on your wood. To prevent this, always clean up after you notice some crumbs on your floor.
10. Pick the best wood for ground contact.
The structure that is on the ground is more sensitive than the one in the open. The ground has many insects, some of which feed on wood. It is advisable that you treat the wood first before you immerse it in the sand. Use pressure treated lumber for which is the best for wood that is meant for ground contact. This is advantageous because you will not have to go digging just to check if your wood is still intact.
Wood is one of the best material to use as you are building but is it also very fragile and might not withstand harsh weather conditions if not well taken care of. Before building or buying a home, do some physical research on the entire house to make sure that it is safe from rot or damage by termites. A little tender loving care to your wood will go a long way in terms of costs, time and energy.