Wood is undeniably one of the most versatile and useful materials used for construction, and we use it to create furniture, beams and rafters, posts, and more. Wood is notable for being a sturdy support frame for different structures, but when you use wood beams as a support system for your building or home, it can be difficult to notice when the wood deteriorates. If your wood beams are neglected, they may not only lose their shine and lustre, but they can also become damaged or infested by rot, mould, and so on. This is especially true for old beams, particularly beams made of oak. So how can you maintain and clean and care for your old wood beams? If they need to be restored, how can you restore them properly without damaging the look and integrity of the wood? Here’s your best guide.
Why does wood age?
There are many reasons why wood such as oak can age, and since it is organic, ageing can come from both natural causes and external causes. If your wood beams are placed outside, they can be affected by weather and the elements such as wind, sunlight, and rain, resulting in the growth of mould. If your wood beams are inside, a humid environment can affect them as well. Infestation can also cause wood beams to lose their appeal and integrity, and insects can begin to eat the beams from within.
Additionally, wood beams, especially oak, can age simply because of improper cleaning products. Cleaning products that have chemicals, such as chlorine or bleach, can affect the integrity of the beams and cause them to lose strength or worse, deteriorate.
Proper cleaning for old beams
When it comes to proper cleaning, you can start by dusting and vacuuming the beams. You can also make use of soda blasting or chemical-free blasting methods, which can remove old paint or varnish and any damage from smoke or soot. Both of these processes are known to not harm the beams, and since these cleaning methods are quite precise, you can choose the specific areas you would like to clean and not have to worry about causing damage to other materials nearby. Of course, if you are hesitant to do any blasting yourself, you can always turn to experts in old beams like Bespokebeams.co.uk, who are not only well-versed in cleaning but are also experts in the restoration of old beams.
For a natural method, you can make use of a mixture of vinegar and water by combining two parts lukewarm water with one part vinegar. Then just pour the mix in a spray bottle and spray the mixture on a clean piece of cloth and wipe the cloth on the beam’s surface.
Proper restoration for old beams
If your old beams are in need of restoration rather than just general cleaning, you may have to remove the old and worn finish first. The finish on wood beams can really affect how they look since it is on the outside layer of the beam. Once the finish is removed, you can then use natural beeswax or oil to stain the wood beams. The wax or oil can penetrate the wood grain and serve to replenish it, and it can form a hard layer on the surface that reinforces and protects the wood from further damage.
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