Common Wood Problems and Tips for Preventing Them

Termite and Rot Damage

Despite the incredible technological advances in the past several decades, wood remains one of the finest, most elegant building materials available. Because lumber is made from natural wood, it can be prone to some issues that can compromise its strength and appearance. Still, you can keep your interior and exterior wood in excellent shape as long as you take the right preventative measures. Here are a few common wood problems and how you can avoid them:


Though wood appears solid, its porous qualities allow it to absorb water much more than other building materials do. The more water you allow to seep into the wood, the more it will swell, creating an uneven surface. The best way to prevent wood from swelling and warping is to apply a sealer once every few years.


Wood has also been known to swell and contract due to hot and cold temperatures. Sudden trauma might also cause wood to crack, or at least dent. The best way to prevent cracking is to select the right application for the right wood. For ideas, speak with a lumber expert.


Wood that is saturated with moisture will likely rot to some degree, losing its beauty and structural integrity in the process. Again, the best way to prevent indoor or outdoor wood from rot is to apply a special sealer once every three to five years. It also helps to watch for plumbing leaks and remove plant debris from around a wooden fence or siding, for example.


Wood is also susceptible to discoloration, either from stains or the sun’s UV rays. In order to keep your wood looking good, you should apply sealer, clean up spills immediately, and draw window blinds when necessary.

If you have any questions about keeping your wood in great shape, contact Southern Lumber of San Jose. We’ve been in the wood business for 100 years—we know the ideal applications and maintenance procedures for all types of wood. Call us today at (408) 297-9663 to speak to one of our lumber experts.   

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