7 Enemies of Wood Furniture
A house is one of the largest investments that you will make. But in order to make a house a home, you will need the perfect furniture that will provide seating, storage, a place to gather and eat, and a place to lay your head. The furniture for your home is not only essential, it is also an investment. Purchasing solid, wood furniture is not only an investment in quality, it is an investment that can be handed down to future generations.
Regular care and maintenance will keep your wood furniture in good shape for a very long time. However, there are enemies to your wood furniture that can damage and, in some cases, ruin your items. It is essential to know what to look for and how to avoid these harmful elements. This list of the seven most popular enemies to be aware of.
Water can be very damaging to many types of furniture, but especially for wood furniture. Since wood is an organic material, it is very vulnerable to mold and rot if exposed to excessive moisture. Wood furniture can swell and shift from an increase in moisture content. When cleaning, never use a wet cloth or soak your wood furniture. Be sure to remove any spills from the wood as soon as possible to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
As the weather and seasons change, so does the humidity. When humidity changes, it can cause the furniture to contract and expand. High levels of humidity will cause the wood to swell and begin to deteriorate. On the other hand, too little humidity will cause the wood to become dry and shrink which will cause your furniture to crack. It is extremely important to maintain a consistent level of humidity within your home by using a dehumidifier and your HVAC system.
A constant enemy of your wood furniture is sunlight. We all welcome the sun into our homes, but if your wood furniture is exposed to direct sunlight, your wood pieces will show fading and discoloration. Over time, the UVA and UVB rays from the sun will cause a slow but progressive degradation of your wood furniture. There are a few easy ways to slow, and even avoid, sun damage. First, utilize blinds and curtains to block the sun’s rays from coming through the windows. Or you may also want to apply a window film that will filter the sun. Also using a varnish or sealant on your wood furniture in conjunction with the sun filtering shades will deter the damage that the sun may cause to your wooden items. And finally, you may simply reposition your furniture so that it is not in direct sunlight. These are small changes that will save your investment in the long run.
Heat is yet another element that can damage your wood furniture. Placing anything that is excessively hot, such as laptops, dishes, irons or near a fireplace, can permanently mar your furniture. Best practices to avoid these pitfalls is to always have coasters or a thick mat down before laying anything on your wood furniture. Utilizing a protective finish such as polyurethane or shellac will create a barrier between your furniture and potential heat damage. And lastly, if you feel that your wood pieces are too close to a fireplace or stove or even a heat vent, reposition the furniture to eliminate or minimize the threat of heat damage.
Everyday we use a variety of chemicals in our homes. Some are for cleaning purposes like ammonia products or alcohol, some are used in beauty routines like nail polish remover or perfumes. These chemicals are extremely bad for your wood furniture. They can remove the finish and strip away the shine of your piece, leaving your wooden furniture with ugly with marks, marred and unprotected. It is always best to use coasters and mats when using these products.
As we have stated, wood is an organic material and can be marred and scratched more easily than furniture that is fashioned out of steel or upholstery. That is why any type of sharp object like silverware, knives, blades, or anything with a sharp edge should be kept away from wooden furniture.
It is no secret that termites love wood, and unfortunately, your furniture is not immune to these little parasites. Termites are drawn in by all of the above enemies of your wood furniture. By simply following the steps that we have outlined above to prevent these damages and wiping down your furniture every day, this will help to eliminate the threat of termites. They can be tough to get rid of, but consistency will keep them at bay.
Quality wood furniture is an investment. Damage can come in many forms, but you have the power to protect your investment and make your wood furniture last for many decades to come.