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How to protect your timber in winter

Winter has the worst combination of conditions for timbers, whether it is fencing, decking, or furniture. The rain, sleet and snow bring a lot of moisture. This alone will cause higher wear but the lack of bright sunlight will keep the timber wet for longer, giving it more time for warping or rotting. On top of this, the strong winds will wreak havoc, increasing the risk of damage.

If you want the timbers in your garden to last the winter and not need lots of replacements or repairs in spring, you need to take care before the end of autumn. Start off by packing up any timber furnishings that can be dismantled; it's unlikely you'll get a chance to use them and if they are safely in the shed or garage they won't be exposed to harmful elements.

Those timber items you can't pack away need to be prepared for the conditions to come. Here are some important tips to help you do just that, including some very useful advice about your fencing.

The first thing to do is check your timbers for any signs of damage, including wobbly posts, damaged panels or worn boards. Repair these first to prevent worse problems from occurring. Make sure every post and support is secure so there is less chance of collapse. 

Big tree in winter Garden

Secondly, you need to have a cleanup. Many people think autumn is a bad time to be cleaning timber decking and fencing but it is crucial you don't shirk the job. If you do the cold and wet weather could leave you looking at rot, mould, and mildew. Take specific care to get rid of leaves and loose grass.

One of the most crucial things to remember with fencing is to keep it out of contact with the ground in winter. If the fencing sits on the surface you should think about raising it ever so slightly so there is a small gap. What this does is create separation so that the base does not continue to draw in moisture from the ground. When you see fencing starting to rot from the bottom upwards it is because it is in contact with the ground and hasn't had the chance to dry out.

Regardless of what type of timber it is, autumn will be the last chance you have to treat it. Take advantage of those last few bright afternoons while you can to get the job done. Make sure you choose a stain, sealer, or paint to suit the variety of timber. Decking owners may choose to opt for special deck oil. Before you start you also need to prepare the surface.

An important thing to keep in mind if you are using decking oil, preserver, or even fence protector is you may need to do multiple coats. You need to be careful with oils in particular because if you use too much for a coating it can leave an oily residue. It is always better to do a smaller coat, let it dry, and then check the results.

At Hillsborough Fencing we supply a wide range of timber garden products, from fence panels to decking boards and furnishings. We understand the damage that winter weather can cause and want to help all of our clients protect their materials. As a result we also stock preservers, stains, and other protective products such as Timbashield. 

If you would like advice about protecting timbers please feel free to contact us. We have a lot of knowledge and experience, making us a fantastic resource if you need help. You can contact us directly or request a callback via our website.


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