Discover New ideas For Your Next Home Project
If you are searching to enhance your home’s exterior, include things like American hardwoods in the mix. New, eco-friendly treatment procedures now help make hardwood an excellent and great looking material option for outdoor living areas.
“American hardwoods throughout outdoor applications used to be taboo,” claims Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. “These days, constraints and concerns are distant memories, and hardwoods are boldly being installed outdoors as siding, decking, fences – you name it – thanks to non-chemical heat treatments which improve the dimensional constancy and durability of this superb product.”
- A recipe for accomplishment
Thermal modification is the non-toxic process that simply “cooks” wood in heat. Throughout the method, oxygen is removed out of the oven in order to avoid the wood from burning. The high heat – more than 400 F – produces a naturally durable wood which is permanently resistant to water, insects and rot.
Bob Miller, director of sales and marketing intelligence at Frank Miller Lumber Company, claims that because the course of treatment noticeably decreases modified wood’s moisture content and limits its ability to absorb moisture, products are more dimensionally stable – causing them to less prone to cupping, warping, expansion, and shrinkage with changes in humidity.
“The procedure also eliminates organic elements from wood’s cells, eradicating a food source for insects and fungi,” Miller adds. “Simply put, thermally modified wood is really a natural and healthy replacement of the chemically preserved, pressure-treated wood. And it’s really affordably priced, too.”
- At home in the outside
Successfully used in Europe ever since the 80s, thermally modified wood has been slow to migrate to America. But, Scott Seyler, who deals with export sales at Northland Forest Products, states the resilience and dimensional solidity of thermally modified hardwoods are main benefits that interest homeowners who are finding out about outdoor home-improvement projects.
“With all that thermally modified wood offers, it is swiftly becoming well-known for siding, decking, trim, as well as flooring,” Seyler explains. “Depending on the particular treatment process, locally sourced ashes, poplar, maple, as well as other hardwoods are performing just as well, if not much better than cedar, well-known imported species, and composite materials.”
- Finalizing it off
Within the thermal modification process, a rich chocolate color results, highlighting the wood’s natural beauty and giving a lavish look. But like any other wood, over time, if it’s not sealed, thermally modified hardwood will naturally weather to a shade of gray caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
“Most homeowners prefer the rich, dark hue of the modified wood, and choose not to apply a stain or to cover the grain pattern with paint,” claims Hal Mitchell, vice president of domestic sales at Atlanta Hardwood Corporation. “We do, however, endorse applying a UV-inhibitor sealant to all sides and ends of the wood, to preserve its shade and prevent graying.” He added that, “Since thermally modified hardwood is resistant to water, water-based finishes might not perform well. We’ve discovered that oil-based sealants and finishes perform best.
“I have a screened-in porch with tongue-and-groove flooring made from thermally modified sweet gum,” Mitchell states. “It looks great and is also performing well simply because it does not cup from contact with the elements. The material is ideal for out-of-doors applications if sealed properly. No other wood can do that based on my experience.”
- In search of ideas?
Think about adding endless beauty to your home’s exterior with thermally modified American hardwoods. To acquire more information check out the American Hardwood Information Center at www.HardwoodInfo.com for design ideas and inspiration.
Learn more and discover new brilliant ideas and inspiration for your next home project. The Dayton Home Inspection can help!
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