How to Protect Your Home's Wood
A common misconception about wood in your home is it requires the same amount of care as most things in your home. Wood is a very sensitive material that requires a great deal of care if you want to keep it looking good. Properly cleaning and hydrating wood allows it to last for decades while neglecting it can cause it to only last a couple of years. One of Maid Smart’s specialties is professional home cleanings that focus not only on the immediate cleanliness of your home but the long-term health of your home. With winter coming it’s especially important maintain the care of any wood furniture, cabinets, floors, surfaces etc.; in your home.
The drying of wood is the primary reason why it becomes unusable or loses its brilliance. I know it can sound weird that your wood can be too dry so let me explain. Even though it’s on a microscopic level your wood has moisture in it. This allows the wood to properly hold together and helps create a health glow. Wood surfaces slowly lose moisture over time from evaporation through the pores (microscopic openings on your wood’s surface). This loss of moisture isn’t caused by it being too hot necessarily. Most of the time it’s caused from lack of moisture in an environment’s air. The dry air pulls the moisture out of the wood causing it to become brittle.
During the winter air loses moisture. That’s because air can only hold a certain amount of water. In the winter when the air gets colder the amount of water the air can hold decreases. This means that the water is pulled out of the air and made into microscopic droplets. That’s why you see a lot of frost or dew on things during cold days.
Even though your home is warm inside the air in your home is taken from outside where it’s still at a low temperature and low moisture level. Once this air enters your home and becomes warm it is now able to hold more moisture again. This means the air will start to pull moisture from things in order to balance its water level. So the air starts to pulling water from various things throughout your house such as the wood in your home.
Now that you know a little about the why, I’m going to tell you how to help keep your wood hydrated. You don’t want to use any water on your wood to replace the moisture lost. The best method for retaining hydration in wood is wood oils. Wood oils aren’t just great for keeping your wood hydrated. They bring out the character of the wood, they’re normally made of natural products and they are easy to apply. They help lock in any moisture your wood already has and the dry air can’t absorb the oils like it does water. The oils also help repel any water from the surface of the wood it was applied; keeping it safe and sound within your wood.
Different kinds of wood require different kinds wood oil. Standard linseed oil can be good for certain inside home woods but not for any outside woods. Mineral oil doesn’t provide the same shine as the other oils but it’s great for things like kitchen chopping boards where you want a non-toxic finish. There are many types of wood oils and I would suggest you contact your local specialist to find out what oils are best for your home.
At Maid Smart we currently operate in Princeton, Englewood and Portland which are all in the North. Winters in the Northwest and Northeast can be a little harsher than the rest of the country. The damage to woods is normally seen pretty easy if it’s neglected. Maid Smart deals with a lot with wood products in homes and through research we have learned to help keep wood in your home looking good and lasting longer.
By Gavin Clement