You don’t need us to tell you it’s getting colder out there. With winter slowly setting in, heavy rain and high winds can play havoc with wood structures in your garden.
So to help your timber survive the wrath of winter, here are some simple ways to protect your sheds, fences, pergolas and any other structures against the dark side of Mother Nature. But first…
For untreated wood, the onslaught on wet and cold weather has the potential to stretch, crack and splinter most types of timber structures.
Seeping into cracks, rain, sleet and snow settles before expanding due to a drop in temperature. Should you keep timber unprotected, you’ll start to see the effects of cold weather within 12 months, with overall life expectancy of structures shortened to around 5 years.
By applying the right paint, wood stain or preservative, you can easily prevent moisture from entering the cracks in your timber and causing costly damage.
If you’re not sure where to start with products, we suggest sticking with household names such as Rustins, Cuprinol, Barrettine and Ronseal. With each option, expect to pay around £7.50 per litre.
If you’re environmentally conscious (of course you are), you’ll also find a wide range of water-based options which help to protect the planet.
Before you get started, check you have all the tools you need. As standard, we’d suggest you use a soft and hard brush, a damp cloth, a metal paint pot, a 100ml fence brush and 25ml fence brush. You’ll also need protective sheets for any patio or paved areas you don’t want to cover in stain.
Provided you’re good to go, use a hard brush to remove any debris, cobwebs or bird droppings from your timber surfaces. Once the toughest parts are loosened, use a damp cloth to clean the area.
Right, now for the preserving. Before you open your pot, give it a good shake, and always read the ‘instructions for use’. Using your 100ml fence brush, apply the preservative to the timber, following the grain of the wood.
For small splits, cracks and gaps, use a 25ml fence brush to apply preservative in all those weaker areas of your structure prone to rotting.
In most cases, one coat of preservative is enough to provide protection for 6 to 12 months, but always read the label to be on the safe side.