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Heritage Garden Buildings > Maintenance of your building
Maintenance of your building

On all timber buildings regular maintenance is essential to prelong the life of the building.  Even on Tanalised buildings, once yearly treatment is still needed.  Here is a list of maintenance tasks to use as a checklist;

Regular maintenance

  • Re-treat the exterior of your building
  • Cut back overhanging trees and shrubs
  • Check roof felt for deterioration
  • Oil hinges and locks etc
  • Tighten any door turn buttons
  • Wipe any condensation from the bottom of windows

Timber is a natural material and is therefore suceptible to warping, splitting an shrinking due to changing temperatures and weather conditions. This is a natural effect that may require remedial action.

Wood Treatment

Treat your garden building to retain its good looks and preserve the wood. As standard we dip treat our building in a red cedar water based preservative prior to delivery.

We advise that you apply an additional coat of 'Thompson's Water Seal'  or an alternative spirit based preservative within the first 4 weeks. Then you can further treat and decorate the building with a different colour treatment. Remember that if in the future you may want a light coloured building, do not use a dark colour initially.

If treatment is not carried out as specified, you may encounter problems with your building. This would lead to excessive board shrinkage, large splits, fading colours and possible water penetration.

Roofing felt

Due to the variations in our climate, you may experience undulations in the roofing felt over time, this is normally acceptable. Periodically check the roof for:

  • Roofing felt nails have lifted
  • Any damage such as holes / splits
  • Overhanging trees and shrubs

When the felt has been exposed for a period of time, it does loose some of its proofing body. A new felt covering may be necessary. Please call us, we can re-felt the roof for you.

General

Regularly inspect your building, check for Small cracks, shakes or knot holes - these can be repaired with mastic or wood filler.

All doors are fitted square at the factory, however once the building has been installed and settled there maybe some movement in the door fitting. This may be due to the base being slightly out of level, or an uneven loading on the building. To rectify, place some packing under one side of the door post or at the corner of the building. Use a crowbar or a spade for leverage to enable you to position the packing.

 

Most timber defects are not defects at all, just part and parcel of owning a timber building. If you know what to expect any 'problems' will be a lot less worrisome.

Cracks Can be Filled if Desired

Cracks and splits in timber are entirely to be expected. The timber are kiln dried and should arrive to you in perfect condition with no cracks whatsoever. However, once exposed to the elements, they do shrink and swell as the moisture content in them varies. All you can do is make certain they are properly and evenly treated with a quality wood preserver, base coat and top coat. This will help protect them from moisture penetration as well as the effects of strong direct sunshine.

Cracks in timber should be seen as something that adds to the character of the building, rather than anything to get alarmed about. If desired they can be filled with flexible caulking or sealant and painted over.

Timber Knots

The timber used to make timber buildings comes from the older, harder heart wood of Nordic pines. It has knots in it and these only add to the character of natural wood. Over time and increased exposure to the elements the knots may contract at a different rate to the surrounding wood, perhaps even cracking and ultimately falling out altogether. Knots should be sealed prior to painting with a couple of coats of knot sealer. After sealing you can paint over them with greater confidence that the knot will be less likely to have any effect on the final finish. You might also want to use wood filler to patch any holes left by knots prior to sealing and painting over.

Timber Resin

Over time pine resin may appear to 'bleed' from the surface of some logs. The resin runs down the face of the logs and adds again to the charm of the cabin. Traditionally resin was harvested from northern European pine trees and had, and still has, a wide variety of uses from medicine, to incense and makeshift torches. As with other properties of the wood, its presence should be celebrated rather than maligned. If you get fed up with it you can always scrape it off and make your own incense or resin torch. The resin quickly hardens; if left long enough it will fossilize and turn to amber!

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