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The popularity of solid wood furniture not only stems from the natural beauty of the material; wooden furniture is practical, down-to-earth, yet very tasteful.
To make your wooden furniture last, you have to maintain it intensively. After all, wood is a natural material sensitive to changing environmental factors like heat and humidity.
What can you do to make your solid wood furniture last? Deco-Man’s here to give you an upkeeping 101.
Solid wood furniture: upkeeping tips
Spring and summer: remove excessive moisture
In southeast Asia, rainfall levels are very high in spring and summer. The humidity level of the air is also quite extreme, often reaching 80-90%.
Wooden furniture is prone to warping under a high level of humidity, which not only harms the wood surfaces, but also the mortise and tenon joints.
Moreover, moulding also occurs easily when there’s excessive moisture in the natural fibres.
To prevent your wooden furniture from absorbing too much moisture, here are some preventive measure you can take.
- Avoid placing the furniture near the windows where humid air enters the interior.
- Attach felt pads to the bottom of the furniture and separate the wood from the floor. This prevents the wood from scratching and absorbing moisture from the floor.
- Avoid rubbing wooden furniture with damp cloth.
- Apply protective polish to the furniture to prevent moisture from being absorbed into the wood.
Autumn and winter: preserve moisture in the wood
- Wooden furniture is known to be quite unstable, temperamental even. This is because wood shrinks and expands according to temperature and humidity.
- When the humidity of the furniture’s different sides differs greatly, the wood might become warped.
- In autumn when the climate becomes dry, air the doors and drawers of your wooden furniture regularly so that the humidity of the furniture’s different sides are kept similar.
- In autumn and winter, the climate is dry and the wind blows strongly. In a dry environment, protect your wooden furniture by preserving its moisture content. Purchase a humidifier to keep the moisture level of the interior stable and control.
- Also, avoid exposing the furniture under strong sun and wind, including the air conditioner and the radiator. The dry wind can cause the wood to lose moisture and crack.
Some wood species are less susceptible to damage by insects than others, for example, reddish wood species like padauk and rosewood.
To avoid insect infestation in your home, opt for furniture made with reddish wood species.
To protect furniture made with other kinds of wood, do not place the furniture in overly humid area. If insect infestation has already occurred, there are still ways to save your furniture.
Use a high-power blow dryer and direct the heated air towards where the insects emerge.
Alternatively, apply pesticides to the affect area. Pay attention to the ingredients in the pesticides as some of the chemicals might damage the wood surfaces.