Timber care and maintenance tips

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Written by Guy Walton - 30 Oct 2018

Just had new timber signs made or installed?

That’s great and whilst we hope you’re going to enjoy them for many years to come, here’s a short guide we’ve put together to help you increase their longevity.

Care and maintenance of timber products

All timber products will ‘weather’ once installed. This is more apparent with fresh-sawn (or ‘green’) oak while air-dried and kiln-dried oak are more stable. Being a natural material the amount of weathering will vary according to moisture content, ground/atmospheric conditions, exposure and variations within the timber itself.

Weathering characteristics include:

  • Turning a silver-grey colour in time. This can be slowed by using an oil such as Osmo UV-Protection which can be re-applied as needed.
  • Cracks opening up. This is expected and is particularly characteristic of oak. These cracks do not affect the residual strength of the product and will vary in width according to the relative humidity at the time.
  • Tannin stains. These are common (especially with oak) and occur when the timber is in contact with ferrous metals. These will disappear over time but can be sanded out when dry, or removed with an Oxalic Acid solution (where safe to do so).


Timber signage


Storage advice:

Fresh-sawn timber products should be installed immediately where possible. If storage is necessary then keep them outside, covered and sheltered from direct sunlight to avoid drying out/fading. If the products are individually wrapped it may help to unwrap them to avoid condensation building up causing staining. Any staining that does occur can usually be lightly sanded out once the timber surface is dry. Products which are stacked should have gaps between them for air circulation.

Installation advice:

We recommend that products are concreted in, the required amount will vary according to the size of the product, ground conditions, wind-loading etc. Avoid concrete splashes on the timber as this will cause staining. Concrete can be backfilled to 50mm below ground level, then trowelled away for water runoff.

Timber Singage 2


Maintenance advice:

A light sanding once a year when the timber is dry will help keep products clean and prevent the build-up of dirt and moss. The attractive silver-grey appearance is a natural feature of the timber and for many clients is a desired effect. If ongoing fade resistance is required they can be treated with Osmo UV-Protection Oil if required, or if very faded with Osmo Wood Reviver Power-Gel to restore the colour.

Graphics panels can be washed with mild detergent, and stainless steel plaques cleaned with a specialist cleaner. As always, we recommend you check on an inconspicuous area first.

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Written by Guy Walton - 30 Oct 2018

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