Wood has been around for ages as a construction material, fitting anything from traditional rustic designs to contemporary minimalist motifs. Its versatility as a building material is partly due to the numerous types of timber, each with unique properties that make them stand out.
Redwood is a common choice for building products, not just for finishing but also for structural foundations. This is because it has impressive natural durability and is relatively easy to maintain. For this reason, redwood is an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor applications.
Knowing your timber’s properties
The low maintenance requirement of redwood timber makes it an accessible building material for most homeowners. Nevertheless, its low overhead needs don’t mean that it shouldn’t receive proper treatment and care. All timber products require some level of protection, whether through routine cleaning or proper finishing. If you want your timber materials to have a long lifespan, you must know what they demand from you as a homeowner.
In this article, we’ll share three things you need to learn to maintain your redwood.
1. Cleaning your redwood
Like any building material, redwood will require cleaning over time. This is mainly applicable to outdoor installations like fences, decks and other lawn fixtures. However, this can also apply to some interior finishing that’s prone to damage.
Thankfully, cleaning redwood isn’t as difficult as other timber products. Simply using a medium pressure garden hose is enough to remove dirt and debris. These can be the early signs of mildew growth that appear as dark or fan-shaped spots. You may need to use a stiff bristle with detergent to remove tough stains. If you leave mildew growth on its own, it can become more problematic to get rid of. For severe mildew damage, you’ll need to use a solution of trisodium phosphate, liquid bleach and a gallon of warm water. Apply it evenly with a soft brush. Once the wood dries, wash the redwood completely with water.
2. Finishing essentials for redwood
Although redwood is a maintenance-free material, you’ll need to apply wood-specific finishes to give it an extra layer of protection from environmental damage. It can also include additional UV protection and mildewcide to prevent degradation from wood rot.
You typically have three options with wood stains since they’re available in solid, semi, transparent and clear colour options. Keep in mind that semi=transparent and solid stain will slightly alter the shade of your timber. Remember this if you want to keep your different redwood finishing and installations coordinated in terms of the palette. Use the same brand and type of stain when applying it to similar structures.
3. Restoring redwood’s colour
Like all natural woods, redwood will eventually change in colour due to dirt, sunlight and other environmental variables. No matter how much you retouch your redwood’s finishing, it will still experience this discolouration. Restoring your redwood to its natural colour will require you to scrub the surface to remove any potential stains or signs of mildew. Afterwards, apply household bleach evenly on the redwood and rinse it later with water after drying.
If your redwood’s damage is due to extractive bleeding, your redwood might appear darker than it should. To return it to its natural tone, you’ll need to apply oxalic acid and trisodium phosphate. Allow the oxalic acid crystals to dissolve within a gallon of warm water, then use the solution to coat your redwood. After the wood dries, rinse the surface with water.
Most of your maintenance troubles will occur if you don’t purchase quality products from the right vendor. Premium timber products go through extensive quality control to ensure robust materials for any building project. This is why it’s necessary to trust your contractor’s suppliers or choose them yourself.
At Timber 2 U Direct, we have a selection of premium timber products for all your home’s needs. We can match your choice of profile, timber species and dimensions so you’ll have a shorter construction timeline. If you require quality made-to-measure timber in Essex, contact us today.