30 Oct Timber care and maintenance tips
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, or removed with household detergents or Oxalic Acid.
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.
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.
A light sanding once a year when the timber is dry will help keep products clean and prevent build-up of dirt and moss. They can then be lightly oiled if required.
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.