Tips from a Timber Stain Pro
Shari Steber, the co-owner of Timber Pro UV, has provided us with some tips to maintain beautiful timbers all year round. Timber Pro UV is an Oregon based company that specializes in making protective stains specifically for our Pacific Northwest climate.
We use Timber Pro UV stains because unlike some protective stains, Timber Pro does not have a plastic look, doesn’t need to be stripped off to apply touch-up coats, and can be applied directly to green timbers. Timber Pro stain also smells good and is easy to work with.
Shari gives us a combination of monitoring and prevention tips:
7 Steps for Maintaining and Beautifying Timber Posts, Beams & Decorations
1. Walk the perimeter of your home and examine all the surfaces.
Write down particular areas where you notice any fading of color, build up of dirt, dust, or pollen, or anything that may be a particular cause for concern.
2. Wash your timbers annually.
Maintaining natural wood siding is a lot easier if you dedicate one weekend a year to cleaning the wood all the way around the house. Use a cleaner made for this purpose, such as Clean & Brite by Timber Pro Coatings.
Many people have tried to make their own cleaner using bleach and TSP, and have had poor results. Bleach can strip color from the stain you used, and repeated use of bleach over the years makes the wood pulpy.
Dirt, pollen, and other airborne contaminants contribute the most to finish degradation. They will accumulate on horizontal surfaces, such as the top side of rounded logs, on top of beams, etc. Rough-sawn siding will also be subject to dirt and dust accumulation because of its texture. Dirt provides a food source for mold and mildew, so by keeping the wood clean you remove that food source.
Timber Pressure Washing Tips
Pressure washing is a thorough method of cleaning, especially if you apply a cleaner that will kill the mildew spores. Spores maneuver into small areas where the pressure washer cannot reach.
Do not use more than 1500 PSI when pressure washing natural wood, use a fan shaped tip, and keep the wand moving at a steady pace at least 12 inches away from the wood.
Do not pressure wash at all if you are inexperienced, because you could leave irreparable grooves and stripes in the wood.
3. Clean the gutters and downspouts. If your gutters or spouts are clogged, it could cause water to run off onto the siding and create a problem area.
4. Cut back bushes or plants that are touching the wood siding. Vegetation that is touching your siding provides a moist, shady environment for mildew to form.
5. Monitor the Cracks. There is not a finish made that will prevent wood from forming small cracks. Cracks in the siding or beams do not diminish the wood’s dimensional stability, but if the crack is large enough then there is a possibility that rain and moisture will fall down into the crack.
On a regular basis, try to blow dust, cobwebs, etc. out of these cracks. Many siding professionals recommend filling cracks that are collecting rain with a high quality caulk and monitoring the sealant on a yearly basis. On cracks that angle downward, it is recommended to spray clear stain to keep the inner walls sealed .
6. Don’t procrastinate! Re-apply the finish in areas that need it. Do not wait for the stain to wear off before you apply maintenance coats! If you wait for noticeable discoloration and weathering to show, then you will end up having to strip off the finish and re-apply it again, which is a lot more work than just applying refresher coats.
Finishes that are very transparent need to be re-coated on an average of 2-3 years.
Semi-transparent finishes or semi-solid stains will last longer. If the siding is smooth, rather than rough sawn, it requires more frequent coating.
The design of the structure has a lot to do with how often you need to recoat as well. You may only need to treat every 3-7 years on more protected areas of the building.
Often, the southwest exposure takes the most beating and that side may need recoating more often. There are no solid rules, but the product you used to protect your wood should have maintenance information on their company website.
7. Make it easy for next time.
Write down what maintenance steps you take every year. Track which walls you re-applied the finish to and what color and product you used. If you caulked, write down where you caulked and what brand and color you used. Keep track of quantity used so you’ll know what to order when it comes time again.
It will be hard to go wrong if we follow Shari’s simple tips!
For Premium Timber Stains & Coatings, Timber Pro UV can be reached at (888) 888-6095. Arrow Timber can include stain in your timber package.
To Your Enjoyable Timber Living,
Initiating the Vision
Depicting the Vision
Constructing the Vision