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A well-maintained wooden house, garden building or garage could last for decades or even a lifetime. However, to ensure the longevity of your newly built construction and prevent it from damage, the structure must be properly taken care of and undergo regular maintenance works, which are essential for warranty purposes as well.
Wooden building treatment
One of the most effective wooden house maintenance practices - a regular and timely treatment of your wooden house or garden building with a high-quality coating - will protect the structure from:
• Rotting, moulding, discolouration, and insect damage;
• Sun damage which might result in split timber logs.
Tips on how to ensure the longevity of the building with wooden treatment:
• Apply the treatment as soon as the wooden building is installed and regularly afterwards (at least once a year, depending on the coating quality).
• Make sure to apply an extra layer of coating to the places where moisture tends to accumulate the most – on the interlocking areas of the walls, support trims for the windows and doors, and wind boards.
• Apply the treatment on a completely dry timber only – if the building got wet during installation (i.e., due to rain), wait until it is completely dry. Otherwise, a huge risk of the wood being affected by mould arises.
• Use oil-based treatment and do not compromise on its quality – wood coating is a key step for ensuring the longevity of your wooden structure.
Natural (temporary) structural deformations
When affected by external moisture (e.g., heavy rain) and temperature fluctuations, conifer timber might shrink and expand. This is a natural process that might result in temporary structural deformations, which should resolve on their own in a short period of time – once the temperature and moisture levels are back to normal, the structure will revert to its original condition.
Please note that this has nothing to do with the quality of the building, it is a feature of natural wood. If you have experienced lingering moisture in your wooden house, make sure to ventilate it thoroughly so that the wood returns to its previous state sooner.
Splits and cracks of the wood
Temperature changes could also result in sudden cracks in the wood. If the wooden building continuously gets lots of direct sunlight, there is a high probability that splits will appear. This does not compromise the integrity of your wooden building and is a completely normal occurrence defined by the properties of this natural construction material – wood.
Protection from mould
If your wooden building is continuously affected by lingering moisture which is not being properly ventilated, it could result in mould formation. This is neither healthy for your wellbeing nor good for the wooden structure itself. One way to prevent mould is to retain a low humidity level, which might be quite difficult, especially having harsh weather conditions in mind which are impossible to avoid.
A more practical option is to ensure proper ventilation. If mould appears on timber despite your efforts to prevent it, do not worry, as there are products for mould extermination that you can find in your local DIY store.
Importance of a levelled and dry base
Wooden building foundation plays a key role in the longevity and structural correctness of the building. Whether you decide to use concrete slabs, timber frame foundation, adjustable pedestals or a concrete base, first and foremost, the foundation must be even.
Uneven base negatively affects the sturdiness of the construction and tends to collect water, which results in high humidity & mould, raised swollen floorboards and other structural damage. To ensure the perfect condition of your wooden building, do not install a wooden structure on a wet base – wait until it is completely dry.
Window and door adjustment
Another important aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is proper window and door adjustment. Due to the natural settlement of wooden frames, you might experience difficulties when opening/closing the windows and doors.
Window and door openings are intentionally left bigger than the windows and doors themselves, therefore, you will notice some gaps in this area once the structure is assembled.
To ensure a smooth opening and closing experience, make sure to carefully adjust the windows and doors with the hinges and give at least two years for the wood to settle before applying any insulation agent (such as expanding foam) into the gaps.
Avoiding excess moisture for windows and doors
Excess humidity might cause window and door warping - gaps and deformities could appear between the window sash and frame over time, allowing the outdoor temperature to affect your thermal comfort. To avoid that, after assembling the building, make sure to thoroughly coat the window and door area with an undercoat or primer and two layers of protective treatment.
If your door has already begun to warp, but you act quickly, it might be fixable:
• Take the door down and remove any treatment at the top or bottom with sandpaper.
• Lay it down and assess the overall damage. If it is not too severe, you can put it in a grip and weigh the sides.
• Avoid damage by placing a cloth between the door and weights. This should shift it back into place within a day or two. If badly bent, then you will need to add wet towels to the affected areas to reintroduce moisture and allow the door to relax.
• Once it is straight, you can then rehang it. Treat all doors and unfinished wood with a primer and good quality treatment to prevent future issues. This will ensure longevity to every door or window.
The importance of maintenance for warranty requirements
All our buildings have a 5 to10 year warranty (a 5-year warranty is applied to more compact garden buildings, covering less than 20 m2 of internal space and less than 44 mm wall thickness). The warranty applies only for structures that undergo regular maintenance, such as:
• Initial wood coating (inside and outside) and yearly reapplication of oil-based preserver or paint with a coverage of 80-120 microns.
• Thorough, timely and regular ventilation is ensured so that the humidity level does not exceed 50 %.
Want to learn how to preserve your wooden building and ensure its longevity? Our team is always ready to share valuable advice. Let’s have an in-depth discussion regarding our product maintenance over the phone – call us today: 020 7099 4301