Frequently Asked Questions
Why does exterior natural wood often appear to darken over time?
The "darkening" effect frequently seen on exterior wood is caused by the use of vegetable based products. These products, which are usually linseed or tung oil based, become a food source for mold and mildew. As the mold and mildew grows, it darkens the wood surface. Repeated applications of linseed or tung oil based products only increases the growth of mold and mildew, resulting in unattractive, darkened wood.
What should I do if my wood is new?
New wood contains moisture and natural oils, even though it is said to be "dried." We recommend allowing new wood to "weather" for one to two seasons before product application. This allows the wood to continue to dry and will result in better penetration and longer protection. However, application of linseed or tung oil based products will often lead to problems of the darkening effect described by the previous question. The best solution is to avoid using these products from the beginning.
What are the cost factors associated with maintaining exterior natural wood?
Labor is the single most expensive factor involved in maintaining natural wood. The time required to complete a job is divided between properly preparing the wood for treatment and the application of the new treatment. Properly preparing the wood typically requires the removal of previous treatment(s). The more difficult it is to remove previous treatments, the higher the cost of labor involved to complete the job. One way to lower labor costs is to reduce the time required to prepare your wood for repeated applications. The time involved in the application of a product will generally be the same.
Why should wood be cleaned or stripped before applying most products?
Proper wood preparation is equally as important as proper application of any product. This usually involves the removal of the previous application, even if it is being re-coated with the same product. The removal process can be very difficult, labor intensive, and sometimes requires the aid of stripping agents. The result of re-coating over most products will lead to an unattractive surface build up, uneven weathering and the darkening effect. Most products will adhere better and last longer if applied to bare wood instead of a previous layer of stain.
What product does Mountain Woodcare recommend for exterior natural wood?
Proper work methods and procedures are important factors in achieving good results in the restoration and preservation of natural wood. Having used several different products and having stripped off many others, we have found one product to be superior to the competition. Woodcare Professional Series Exterior Natural Wood Stains by The Boodge Company eliminate the problems commonly associated with vegetable based (linseed or tung oil) products. The Woodcare Series is petroleum based, thus eliminating the darkening effect caused by mold and mildew growth associated with vegetable based products. The Woodcare Series also has deep penetrating properties that replace the moisture and naturl oils lost from wood due to weathering. As the oil migrates into the wood, the resins create a surface barrier protecting it from outside moisture and sun, while holding the moisture replenishing oil in. What makes this product further superior is that it requires minimal preparation for reapplication. Light power-washing is all the preparation required for repeat applications. This can reduce the preparation time by 30-70%, significantly reducing maintenance costs. In addition, Woodcare Oil protects evenly, has no surface buildup, and gives wood a deep, rich and natural look. An important thing to consider is what is your home going to look like in five to twenty years after several applications of any product. This product will not only maintain a "like new" appearance after multiple applications, but will also protect the wood better and longer after each application.