Maintaining garden timber in colder conditions – timber maintenance during cold weather

Cold weather can play havoc with wood in your garden

This winter’s weather has been a bit all over the place, with spells of heavy rain, high winds and the occasional sunny day to break the monotony, but we’re yet to experience the first prolonged cold snap of the winter. Yet we’ve not got off scot-free just yet, with the coldest month of the year nearly upon us.

February is generally the coldest month of the year; it was the month of the ‘Beast from the East’ back in 2018, when average temperatures dropped all the way down to just 3.1C! There’s always a chance that 2020 will see a severe cold snap and some disruption; but how could such a cold snap affect the wood in your [fence] garden furniture or [shed]

What sort of damage can winter temperatures do?

Britain’s mixture of wet and cold winters spells bad news for untreated wood; moisture from rain and snow soaks into exposed wood, and if temperatures drop below freezing, the water will expand, stretching the wood. As this happens over and over again throughout winter, it weakens the wood to a point where the damage can become noticeable with cracks and split.

It’s not just your wooden goods that get affected by the cold; constant extraction and expansion in the soil can cause it to split and shift, which can damage the bottom of a fence or a shed in extreme cases.

What can you do to protect the wood?

Sealing any wood in your garden with proper treatments will help keep the moisture out of the wood in the first place and prevent freezing water cracking it open. You can take your pick of paints, wood stains, special wood preservers or clear wood preservative to protect it, depending on how you want your wood to look.

General maintenance helps keep things in order too; keeping your fence, shed or furniture clean with warm water and a sponge or brush will keep soil and dirt at bay, preventing them from slowly but surely causing damage.

If you’ve got wooden garden furniture you want to protect, you could either cover it with water-resistant sheets that stop water, hail and snow impacting the surface, or get that furniture inside your home or garden shed.

Ruby UK specialists in timber products to improve your outdoor space at home; whether you’re thinking about getting some wooden planters or need a new garden gate, we’ve got everything you’ll need and more. Visit our website for our range of timber products, click here.