Trees can withstand the wrath of Mother Nature, but the exterior wood on your home cannot. (Unless you are a squirrel and your home is in a tree.) If you don’t want your home to contribute to nature’s decomposition process, you will need to invest some time (and exert some muscle) to protect and maintain your exterior woodwork. Once your woodwork is primed and painted, you’ll only need to do some maintenance or updating once a year, or even once every couple years – depending on the wood. If you prime and protect your wood, you won’t waste time painting and dealing with nature’s problems.

Wood loves to engorge itself with water, mold, sap, rot and insects – just to name a few things. It is equally gluttonous when it comes to absorbing finishes and paint. Protecting your exterior woodwork keeps your wood from consuming rot and insects and keeps your paint from succumbing to Mother Nature’s moods. Your neighbors will likely appreciate your healthy looking home as much as you do.

Wood finishes and wood protectors are not synonymous. Some wood finishes protect, and others do not. Varnish is an interior and exterior finish that also protects. Dye is an interior finish that does not protect. However, exterior varnish can be applied over a dye finish for outside protection. You will get about 600-900 square feet coverage from a gallon of varnish, but only 400-750 square feet from a gallon of dye.

A stain finish may or may not offer protection, depending on the brand, but it is available for interior and exterior woodwork. You can apply an exterior varnish over an exterior stain to give it the protection it needs. A gallon of stain can get you anywhere from 400 to 1,000 square feet per gallon.

Don’t consider using wax for protecting your home’s exterior woodwork – it’s generally interior only. Oil can be used on interior or exterior woodwork and serves as a wood protector. Wood Preserver is an exterior-only wood protector that prevents rot and insect damage.

Small cracks can also lead to wood damage over time. If you fill up cracks when you first notice them, you’ll prevent some big problems in the future. There are pellet-shaped “wood preservatives” that are specifically made for this purpose, and you can find “wood filler” to take care of small rot problems. If your wood is exposed to heavy sunlight, sap can come out of the woodwork knots. You can use a heat gun on the knot to get the sap to bubble out of the knot until the sap runs dry. Then just sand the area and apply sealer to the knot with a small brush.

Home wood exteriors and handsome exterior woodwork trims are Mother Nature’s beautiful gift to us. Take good care of your wood exterior, and make your mother happy.

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