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Waterproofing to Avoid Woodrot



We’re confident that our fencing and decking materials are of the finest quality, and that you’ll be happy with the quality of these materials and the way they fit into your home. However, we all need a little TLC from time to time, and wooden materials – especially those made for the outdoors – are no exception! 

The cold, wet weather can be harsh on the materials used to update and improve your garden, making winter a tricky time to stay on top of the maintenance of these issues. By making a little extra effort to preserve and care for any outdoor wooden materials, the durability, lifespan, and exterior of the wood can be easily kept in tact and hopefully, as good as new.

We’ve thrown together a foolproof guide to preventing woodrot in the winter, preserving your investment, and keeping any wooden materials strong and durable both in and outside of the home:


Protect wood with oil:


Before oiling wood, ensure that you’ve selected a suitable oil or commercial product that are safe to use at home. For example, a wooden finish containing Tung oil provides great protection from water, which is essential to avoid woodrot in the damp winter months.

Many products use linseed oil as a base, and also provide additional protection when applied to outdoor wooden materials. However be wary of water-based finishing products, as whilst they are cheap and easy to apply, they’re not the best for long-term preservation.

Use a clean, dry rag to apply the oil, and keep a metal container nearby to store materials after use because of the flammability – always be wary of spontaneous ignition and keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby as a caution. Because oil, especially when mixed with solvent, is a flammable product, air-dry the application materials away from buildings or heat to minimalise the risk of fire hazards.

For long-term preservation, a few coatings of oil are advisable rather than a single layer, sanding the wood in between each application. This kind of application process requires patience, as each coat should be left to dry before lightly sanding the surface. Be sure to use less solvent with each coating to make a thicker mix and build up protection on the outer layers of the wood finish.


Use additional protection to minimise harm:


Whilst the application of oil-based products should reduce the risk of decay and weakening, some other dangers may be better prevented with an additional finish.

Wood preservatives are helpful in adding pesticide and fungicide, as well as water repellent – all working together to work against any humidity your wooden materials may be exposed to. Wooden finishes such as polyurethane can protect against any exterior damage like scratching or roughening, and simply adding a layer of paint can improve both the aesthetic and durability of the wood.

If the weather itself becomes a significant problem, cover any exposed wooden material with strong waterproof tarp to protect from extreme heat or cold, wet weather. Regardless of the previous application of waterproofing substances, sweep rather than hose wooden materials to prevent to removal of abrasive sand and introduction of unnecessary moisture.

Continue to apply wood stain or paint on a regular basis to maintain the current protective finish. Double check wooden materials used for house exteriors, fencing and decking for signs of natural wear and tear from weathering and temperamental issues. You may find that damage from strong wind or rain affects some parts of the material more than others, meaning they need repainting more regularly.

Last but not least, ventilate. This helps prevent the build-up of moisture, so try to keep wooden materials in a relatively isolated area where the wood can breathe and is free from any restrictive factors such as leaf litter, weeds and soil.


Browse our range of fencing, decking and sleeper materials online, along with a variety of protective materials and accessories to keep your investments strong, durable and good as new. Better yet, pop into store, where our friendly customer assistants will be on hand to help you with any enquiries, providing you with sound advice to make the most out of your purchase from Hillsborough Fencing.


Happy Gardening!

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