Logically, the wooden structures that we use outside the house need a series of care to extend their useful life, since they are exposed to atmospheric conditions that tend to deteriorate the material over time. For this reason, we have prepared this article with some useful ideas on how to keep the wood of the pergolas in good condition without making too much effort.
Choosing the type of wood
There are hard and soft woods, but for outdoor use it is advisable to choose the first. One of the main recommendations of decoration experts is to choose a type of wood resistant to sun and rain, as in the case of pine, especially the Elliotis and Tea species. You will notice that this type of material is more expensive than the others, this is because the trees take longer to reach adulthood. Mahogany is also among the most appropriate options.
The moisture level of the wood
If you are going to acquire wood to make a pergola at home, then you should take this characteristic into account, since it will be key in terms of its duration. One of the most frequent mistakes when building wooden elements for the exterior is to use new or fresh wood, with a large amount of moisture inside. We could think that in the same way it will get wet with the rain and the sun will do its drying job.
However, in practice, what usually happens is that this fresh wood is varnished and waterproofed, therefore, it is very difficult for moisture to escape even if you install it in the middle of summer. The result is a structure that deteriorates from the inside, weakens and ends up being a waste of money. On the contrary, a dry wood is very robust, especially if it has had an immunization treatment. By taking these recommendations into account, then the maintenance after the assembly of the pergola will be easier.
Wood is a material that can last a lifetime in the house and even survive several generations of the family. This has to do with the conditions he has had. In fact, some archaeologists have found pieces of wood used by humans hundreds of years ago.
In this case, it is good to understand why the deterioration of wood occurs, in order to avoid its degradation and extend the useful life of products made of this material. In this case, fungi and insects are one of the main enemies of wood, so it is important to inject salts in a process called impregnation, to improve the wood’s defenses against these living organisms.
Another effective way to protect wood is through the application of ureas and phenols, either by immersion, torch or roller. There are more ways of working with wood before making the pergola, so it is not necessary that you become an expert on the subject, however, it is essential that when buying the raw material you ask if it has been subjected to these strengthening processes.
How does the design of the pergola influence its useful life?
The design itself and even the installation of the pergola can be crucial in preserving its structure. For this point we will focus on the atmospheric context.
Rain is one of the threats that most concerns us when it comes to purchasing outdoor wooden furniture and structures. In the case of pergolas, it is assumed that the product itself will protect us from water, but curiously, we must first take care that its design is consistent with this purpose. Therefore, it is good that the fall of water is defined, to avoid accumulations, especially if you want to have a completely hermetic roof.
But there are other details that can go unnoticed and yet quickly damage the structure. For example, some beams or strips with reliefs, grooves and channels where stagnant water tends to remain after a rainy day. In this sense, smooth woods are more recommended, which allow them to drain completely, avoiding humidity.
Regarding the installation, it is necessary that the wooden pillars are not inside the transition containers, since they could accumulate water and damage the structure from the base. Rather, they should be on smooth ground with no stagnation. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the fact of burying the wooden bases increases the risk of maintaining humidity, creating an environment conducive to fungi.
Recover a pergola in a few steps
Before asking how much a new pergola costs, it is good to know that many wooden structures can be recovered, even if they look aged and damaged. If you have to give life to your old garden pergola, then you may be interested in these simple steps
The first thing is to evaluate the state of the pergola. For this we must be detailed and go through the entire structure with sight and touch, looking for cavities, fungi and insect houses. In some cases it will be necessary to replace a batten, a beam or even a base. However, it will be cheaper than building a completely new one.
Secondly, you can begin to remove the old varnish or paint surface using 80 or 120 sandpaper, since they have medium to coarse grit. It is very important that you remember to sand in the direction of the grain, since we do not want to scratch the wood, but to make it come alive.
Once you get a smooth surface, it’s time to wipe off excess dust with a cloth, to apply a protective background, which you can get at any paint store. You need to let this product dry very well before moving on to the last step, which would be to apply exterior varnish or paint, depending on your decoration needs. If you want a more natural finish, then you should use a special stain depending on the type of wood in the structure. The good thing about this product is that it allows the material to breathe, to avoid internal humidity and extend its useful life.