News: Maintaining Your Oak Structure
So your Oak Timber Structure is up. It looks fantastic, right? Yet as you admire the new luxurious home enhancement. A thought crosses your mind...
How do you maintain an oak structure?
There are no requirements to treat oak and you can leave it untreated. That said, for outside structures, treating with an Osmo Oil 4001 WR base coat will defend oak against damp, mildew, rot, blue stain, and wood-boring insects. For the removal of tannin stains, you can spot clean with Oxalic Acid Crystals.
In this article, you'll learn everything you need about maintaining your oak, how the wood matures in the coming years, and more.
What Aftercare and Maintenance is Required With Oak?
At Oak Timber Structures, we're devoted to supplying the best quality wood. Most of our products use freshly sawn oak. Also known as 'Green Oak', we cut this wood between 3 to 18 months after the tree has fallen.
We're confident enough in the quality of wood to say it's safe to leave your structure untreated. But it's understandable to want an extra layer of protection. After all, you're proud of your structure, so want to guard it.
For outside structures such as gazebos, Osmo Oil 4001 WR is an industry-standard base coat. It’s best applied to soft absorbent timbers such as pine and spruce, because these are more prone to mould and fungus. While not a necessity with oak, a few thin layers won’t go amiss.
We needn’t remind you that the English weather is unpredictable, so the water repellent qualities of this oil is handy. It also resists blue stain, rot, and insect attack while reducing the risk of swelling and shrinkage.
Apply like you would when painting with a microfibre roller or brush. One or two thin coats will do the job. Best of all, extra coats aren't needed down the line.
WR 4001 is a base coat, so if you want to treat over the top, do so within three months of application of the Osmo Oil 4001 WR.
Once the base coat is dry, you can apply tinted Osmo UV-Protection Oil on top. But this all depends on your preferred finish. There are different oil tints available, 425 is for a darker finish, 429 for a lighter one, or the clear oil 420 will bolster the natural oak qualities.
Although this process isn't essential, it'll give you peace of mind and protect the lifespan of your Oak Timber Structure.
How Do You Stop Oak Silvering?
Your Oak Timber Structure will go through a natural colour change. When exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and general weathering, oak develops a silver hue. You needn’t worry, in fact, matured oak is a popular look. So how do you achieve the natural aged oak finish?
Leave it... it's as easy as that, and after 12 to 18 months your oak structure will have beautiful silver colouration.
But, how do you stop oak from silvering?
If you want to keep your oak structure looking new, using Osmo UV-Protection Oil will protect against colour change. Applying two coats of clear oil will penetrate and protect the wood and delay the natural greying process up to 12 x more. Thus, maintaining your oak structures' fresh character and delaying the silvering process.
How Do You Maintain Interior Oak Structures?
Indoor oak structures like trusses and beams take the least amount of effort to maintain because they's less exposure to water. Furthermore, protected from the sun's UV rays, the silvering process is much slower.
Yet, because of UV rays entering through windows, the natural sunlight will turn the beams silver. The process will be faster in rooms exposed to more sunlight such as conservatories.
If you want to prevent silvering, like exterior oak, a few coats of Osmo UV-Protection Oil will delay the colour change. Other than that, a feather duster is all the maintenance you need.
How Do You Get Tannins Out of Oak?
Oak has a high tannin content. You may wonder if this is something to worry about. It's also legit to ask, what are tannins?
Originating from phenolic acids, also known as tannic acid, tannins are chemical substances. Hearing the word acid is scary, but they're nothing to worry about. In fact, the oak flavour of fine red wine is down to the tannins from oak barrels. Not so bad after all.
When moisture leaves oak, it carries tannins from the wood with it. As it dries, the tannins can leave brown streaks. So, outside structures exposed to rain are most susceptible.
How do you get tannins out of oak?
Looks aside, tannins don't damage oak. Moreover, if caught early, tannin stains are water-soluble so you can wash them off with water and a cloth. For more stubborn stains, Oxalic Acid Crystals will do the job and you’ll banish watermarks in as quick as an hour.
Or, made for oak, Osmo Oil UV Tint 425 will mask the expected discolouration. The benefit of this process is you can spot repair any stains without stripping back the surface. If you've finished the surface with paint then some stripping is required to get to the source of the discolouration.
Stains become worse when you expose tannins to metals such as iron. For this reason, keep your structure away from iron during storage.
Not only does iron worsen tannin stains, but tannins corrode iron. Consider all tools, fixtures, fittings, blades, basically anything metal that'll be in contact with the oak. Ensure you use stainless steel for any work at hand.
The Bottom Line
So all in all, our Oak Timber Structure takes little to no maintenance. In fact, you can leave oak untreated with confidence. Oak is a resilient wood. For this reason, its use in construction dates back centuries. As a durable, long-lasting wood with an attractive grain, it'll still be popular in years to come.
The main issue with maintenance will be tannin stains. But, it's expected and easy to rectify with basic treatment.
If you're eager for the vintage silvery colouration, in 12-18 months you'll be there. To delay this, UV protection oil will ensure your oak maintains its early characteristics for longer.
While it's not integral, a few layers of Osmo Oil 4001 will offer precautionary protection. But remember, this is a base coat, so if you plan on using UV protection oil, use the 4001 first.
If there is anything else you need help with, head over to the contact page. Our knowledgeable team would be more than happy to help with any queries.