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Mar 06, 2024

How Sun and Moisture Affects Wood Products

Tags: How To

As a homeowner, you put a lot of time, effort, and energy into ensuring your home looks nice and remains intact and protected. As such, you probably know that the weather and elements can be the most harmful things your home faces. In Montana especially, our homes need to be able to withstand both the harsh winters and hot summer sun.

At Marks Lumber in Clancy, Montana, we know a thing or two about creating beautiful and durable circle sawn Douglas fir sidings, floorings, and timbers. However, choosing quality products is only the beginning. Read on to learn more about how to help protect your wood products from the elements.

Sun and Wood Products

Just as the sun can be harmful to our skin, it can also cause degradation to wood products over time if proper precautions aren’t taken. This is mainly thought to be caused by ultraviolet or UV light. According to Perma-Chink Systems, “UV light is responsible for most damage to exposed wood because it changes or destroys the wood’s lignin, a component of wood that hardens and strengthens the cell walls. In more scientific terms this process is called photo-oxidation.”

On the surface, the appearance of wood products can be greatly affected by excessive UV light if left unprotected. This can result in changes to the color, such as rapid graying or even splitting and cracking.

Moisture and Wood Products

Wood products can also be sensitive to moisture if not properly finished. Wood is hygroscopic, meaning it “takes on moisture from the surrounding environment.” This causes it to shrink and swell with changes in moisture levels in the air and surrounding environment. This kind of movement is completely natural and is often very minimal.

Proper acclimation, installation, and treatment of wood products can help minimize this movement even more. However, if not protected or maintained, too much exposure to moisture or trapped water can lead to discoloration, mold, or even rot in some instances.

Protecting Wood Products

While sun and moisture can cause damage to wood products if left unprotected, wood is actually a very durable building material, especially when installed, finished, and maintained correctly. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your wood products protected:

  • Purchase quality kiln-dried wood

  • Allow your wood products to acclimate before installation

  • Use a quality finish product

  • Apply finish to all sides, edges, and cut ends before installation

  • Follow installation instructions and professional recommendations

  • Continue to maintain your products by cleaning and re-finishing as needed

At Marks Lumber, we take pride in providing high-quality circle sawn lumber, timbers, siding, and flooring. Our team works hard to help you find the right products to fit your needs and take the right steps to ensure your circle sawn flooring, siding, or timbers remain durable. Contact our qualified sales team today to learn more about our circle sawn wood products.

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