How to Prevent Cracks in Your Home’s Woodwork

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No matter the era or style of a home, wooden features always add beauty and charm to its appearance. Wood is versatile, so you’ll find it used in many different ways both inside and outside a home. In the U.S., wooden decks are the most prominent use of this material. But you’ll also find wood used for trim, doors, railings, and other aesthetic features. No matter how it’s being used, you want your woodwork to remain beautiful and sturdy. However, many homeowners will come across cracks in their wooden features over time. Let’s go over some of the ways to prevent cracks in your home’s woodwork.

Be Mindful of Placement and Climate

Cracks in wood are more common for exterior features than interior ones, due to changes in temperature, sunlight, and moisture outside. None of us can control the weather, of course. Still, if you’re aware of the ways in which heat, light, and moisture can damage wood, you’re better equipped to protect your woodwork against these elements.

For instance, you might consider placing most of your wooden features in shady, dry areas, away from direct sunlight and rain. These features will still be susceptible to changes in temperature and relative humidity, but at least they’ll be better protected than if they were left out in the open.

As for interior woodwork, cracking isn’t likely to occur unless your home is poorly insulated or the wood is very old. Of course, physical damage can also lead to cracking. It goes without saying, but be careful to not run into or throw objects at your interior woodwork.

Staining or Sealing

You won’t always want or be able to move your woodwork into a safer environment. When this is the case, it’s best to take more proactive measures to prevent cracking. Staining or sealing wooden features every so often is essential for protecting them from damage.

Wood stain or sealer seeps into the pores of wood, preventing moisture from entering and expanding or contracting. This expansion and contraction is the most common cause of cracking. Unlike seal, which is transparent, wood stain comes in various pigments, which can enhance the appearance of your wooden features. Homeowners often apply deck stain to both protect their deck and alter its appearance. The best deck stain can last up to three years before needing a new coat.

Protect by Painting

If applied correctly, stain and seal work wonders to prevent cracks in wood. However, they’re somewhat limited in terms of appearance. Yes, you can choose between different stain colors, but you’ll still see the underlying wood grain after it’s dried. Some people prefer this, but others would rather paint over their wood for complete coverage.

Fortunately, painting wood also prevents it from cracking, but in a slightly different way. Instead of seeping into the wood, paint merely rests on top of it. But because paint is so thick, it also does a good job of keeping moisture, heat, and sunlight away from the surface. However, if the paint begins to peel or chip away, it will leave parts of the wood susceptible to damage. This is why the Raleigh house painters at Anderson Painting use only high-quality paint for all surfaces, including wooden ones.

Protecting your woodwork from damage takes effort and regular maintenance, but it’s worth it in the end. By staining or painting your wooden features every couple of years, you can significantly extend your wood’s lifespan while enhancing its appearance. If your wood is currently damaged or you want to take preventative measures, Anderson Painting contractors are happy to help. We provide interior and exterior painting services, as well as carpentry and trim repair. To learn more about us and all our services, call Anderson Painting today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!