Oak, with its characteristic lobed leaves and acorns, is a common sight in UK woodlands. It’s also a very popular material for building and furniture making. As a hardwood it is very strong and long-lasting, making it perfect for structural beams and wooden floors. The natural beauty of the grain also makes it a great choice for dining tables and doors.
When choosing to buy wooden products, many people want to make sure that the wood comes from a sustainable source. However, only 28% of consumers know the symbol to look for, according to this Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/nov/07/shoppers-wood-illegal-sources). It is worth asking your supplier where they source their wood from.
Signs of Ageing
But over time oak can begin to show signs of aging. If you think about the archetypal country cottage with white walls and black beams, you may not realise it but you are thinking about oak that has aged. The blackening happens when oak is exposed to water. As it soaks into the beam, the natural tannins in the wood come out, and that turns the wood to black.
Oak can also show its age through sun damage. Over time the UV rays will bleach the wood from a natural golden-yellow to a more silvery shade. Eventually, all oak will turn this shade if it isn’t protected, and areas in full sun will fade more quickly. This can lead to an uneven appearance to the outside of your home.
Preserving Your Wood
If you’ve just had a new oak porch fitted by http://www.bespoaktimberframes.co.uk/portfolio_page/oak-porch/, here are some maintenance options to get the look that you want in the long-term.
To retain the ‘as new’ look:
• Use one coat of clear wood preservative (protects from damp).
• Follow with two coats of UV protection oil (protects from sun damage).
If you want to prevent blackening but prefer the silvered look, then treat as follows:
• Use one oat of clear wood preservative.
• Follow with two or three coats of Tung oil (a clear oil that will not change the colour of the wood).
If you wish to colour your oak:
• Use one coat of clear wood preservative.
• Follow with two coats of your chosen stain.
• Finish with a coat of protective oil.
Hardwood exteriors look beautiful naturally. By following these tips you will keep your chosen look for longer.