Factors That Cause Wood to Deteriorate

factors wood deteriorate

This spring make sure your wood doesn’t deteriorate!

Whether it’s a family heirloom that has been passed down for generations or the flooring in your home, wood deterioration could completely ruin it! While wood is one of the most durable building materials of the ancient and modern worlds when moisture is involved things can go downhill fast. There are several critical factors that can cause wood to deteriorate. By controlling and limiting these factors in your home, you can ensure a long life for all of your wooden treasures.


If there are pests or other life forms bothering your wood, they need oxygen to survive. If the oxygen is removed from the area, they won’t be able to continue with their consumption (or life, for that matter). When restoring wooden objects or dealing with wooden historical artifacts, wood is often placed into a sealed chamber without oxygen so that the pests are completely destroyed.


Moisture is the most important and most difficult factor to control. Once humidity and moisture begin to take a toll on wood, it can quickly begin to deteriorate. Relative humidity is the term used to describe how much moisture is in the air and what temperature the air is. If the room or area has high relative humidity, wood will take on moisture from the air. If the room or area has low relative humidity, wood will release moisture to be at equilibrium with the air. Extremely high levels of moisture can cause wood to swell and damage the finish or glue. Extremely low levels of moisture can cause wood to shrink, crack, and split.


Pests that cause wood to deteriorate unfortunately can survive in just about every temperature environment. Temperature is typically not the best or easiest way to control the health of your wood. Termites can even exist at sub-freezing temperatures! As a result, focus your energy on controlling the moisture levels in your home instead of the temperature.

Fisher Lumber for All of Your Wooden Flooring Needs

Leland Fisher Lumber has served homeowners and contractors in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas since 1894. We have excellent lumber, all of the building materials you need, top-notch tools, and the expertise to help you pick the right supplies for your project. Give us a call at 301-424-6500 or visit us online for more information. To see more tips for your DIY project, visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Houzz, and Twitter!


This entry was posted on Friday, March 10th, 2017 at 12:35 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.