Why Seal Wood?
Sealing wood, especially exterior woods, helps to:
- Hold water out so it doesn't SWELL when it gets wet and SHRINK when it dries. This adds "Dimensional Stability" which minimizes cracking and twisting. best retaining it's form.
- Keep mold, mildew and wood-rot organisms from colonizing your wood so that its visible beauty, structural integrity and ultimate useful life is extended.
-Adding oils improves the beauty of the wood to our eyes. We like youth and healthiness and adding oils to our exterior woods helps keep them YOUNG AND HEALTHY!
In the "soft woods" category, Redwood and Western Red Cedar are considered as the best and most beautiful of naturally occurring wood types. Beyond being naturally insect and disease resistant, they are rare, too (Redwood because of the limited Coastal regions it naturally grows in; Cedar because it grows within forests as infill trees, not dense similar specie groupings); hence they are more pricey than other softwood species like Pine, Spruce and Fir. Their Tannin content builds with age, bringing acidic bitterness and generating insect and decay resistance as well as "Redness Color". Structures of these specie last longer outdoors than others, but being more durable does not mean they won’t benefit from man-brought protective additives.
"Exotic" or Hard Woods-
While Hard Woods don't have the hollow core of wood cell structure that the Softwoods have, and accordingly don't absorb as much sealer, making re-application more frequent in necessity to maintain the protection and the beauty of your seal, SEALING HARD WOOD STILL HELPS, especially for the aesthetic value reasons. Without sealing, your hardwood will grey quickly from Mildew growth on its surface. And without the oils that can, to a limited degree, penetrate and adhere, hardwood is just less beautiful. It's natural color is covered in grey, quickly!
Staining and sealing Cedar, Redwood, Hardwoods and indeed ALL SPECIES helps to enhance the look of your woods and prolong their useful lives.
If you can, Seal Only Good Looking Wood. If its older and grey, Clean It First!
Sealing old, weathered wood, while it may bring the benefits of Water Repellency, more Rot Resistance and Dimensional Stability (less twisting and cracking), will not make your wood look as good as if you first Clean I First! Sun Frog makes Deck Cleaner, a strong powdered detergent to make cleaning your outdoor woods affordable and reasonably easy. After Cleaning and Sealing your woods will look good, too. More dangerous (caustic) and expensive products like Strippers are then only then necessary where Paints, Solid Body Stains and hard, shiny, varnish like finishes pre-exist on your woods. Note: Mold and mildew also grow on outdoor woods and our Deck Cleaner removes those in the Cleaning process too.
Choose the Right Day
The ideal day for Cleaning or Sealing is a warm sunny day. Allow several days after cleaning for your wood to re-dry and DO NOT SEAL WET OR DAMP WOOD! Lack of "thirsty-ness" by the wood will result in less product penetrating, which will dramatically reduce the benefit of your work and product cost. ALSO, SEAL ONLY IF TWO OR MORE DRY DAYS ARE TO BE EXPECXTED AFTER YOUR SEALING DAY, especially on horizontal surfaces where water puddles occur, so your sealer can fixate in the wood and be un-moved by later moisture. Check the weather predictions before sealing and schedule your work accordingly. SEAL CLEAN, GOOD LOOKING WOOD WHEN DRY AND YOUR SEAL WILL LAST THE LONGEST AND BRING THE BEST VALUE!
Use a Sealer with UV Pigments!
After considering the above-mentioned steps, and when you are ready to stain/seal your wood, use a Sealer with UV Pigments! While they impart a color, they sun-shade your wood so it looks better, and the sealers lasts longer! Because of prior disappointments people have had with non-UV pigmented Stains, many swear not to use stains again and reach for Clear sealers and finishes. Outdoors, though, these just don't have the protection factors that modern UV Pigmented Sealer/Stains now have. Clears will show the grey from sun and molds sooner, as well as bringing them forth sooner so TRY AGAIN and reach for a UV Pigmented Sealer/Stain/Finish. Sun Frog will make you as happy as you can be with this choice.
Sun Frog Exterior Wood Sealer, Finish and Stain Does all of the Above!