How to Keep Untreated Wood From Rotting

Are Woods Prone To Rotting? When it comes to keeping things long-lasting for years to come, it is perfectly normal to want to protect what we have, big or small, since we spend money to acquire them.

The same thing goes for wood or lumber. We all want them to stay durable for many years. Unfortunately, wood and lumber are materials that are subject to rotting.

Especially when you don’t give them proper treatments, you must take care of them to keep them in the best possible shape.

How To Protect Lumber From Rotting

You can use various ways to defend your lumber or wood from getting decayed. One of the options you can do is give pressure treatment to them.

However, having your lumber get pressure treatment can be quite complicated. For this reason, you might want to consider other easier options.

How To Maintain and Protect Untreated Wood

Okay, now we need to start from the basics, which is about treating your untreated wood and preventing decay and rots. Here are the things you need to do:

Keep Your Untreated Wood Dry

Wood is a very great renewable material for building. But, other than its renewable perk, it can deteriorate easily if you don’t take good care of it.

When lumber or wood is exposed to conditions with a high moisture level or gets direct contact with the ground, this can be problematic since these conditions can trigger biological deterioration inside the wood’s structure.

Consequently, fungi and termites will come and eat up the lumber and destroy it within four to seven years.

Moreover, damp conditions can quickly break down the structure and speed up the rotting process.

For this reason, the space you use to store your wood should get adequate air circulation as a requirement to expel any unwanted moisture in the wood. Avoid storing your lumber in a damp and closed environment.

Related:  Prevent Wood from Rotting in the Ground

Keep Your Wood From Having Direct Contact With Sunlight

Protecting your untreated wood from rotting is by protecting it from sunlight. However, if you need to keep your lumber outside, you must keep it away from sunlight as much as possible.

Choose a place with proper shade so the sun’s ultraviolet won’t dry it out. Dry lumber is susceptible to decay as sunlight can remove the natural oils, triggering degradation and fading in the wood’s structure.

The reason for wood degradation is that the natural chemicals inside it, such as lignin, get depleted, so it can’t survive long term.

Related: Treat Untreated Wood for Outdoor Use

Pay Attention To The Place Temperature Where You Place Your Wood

As mentioned above, a place with high moisture levels is unsuitable for wood’s life span. Store it in a room with controlled humidity and temperature.

Too much or too little moisture can gradually deteriorate the lumber’s structure.

Not All Woods Are Equals, So Choose The Durable Ones

Not all lumber is the same. Some lumber can rot easily, while others are more durable. Take hardwoods, for example.

Teak, redwood, cedar, white oak, cypress, and fir are hardwood types durable against weather and harder to decay. However, you need to do some research before buying lumber.

Thus, you can buy the most durable woods according to your needs.

Give Your Untreated Wood Some Chemical Protections

You can opt for some chemical solutions to prevent the lumber from decaying. There are many chemical protections to consider, such as wood stains, sealers, paints, and other finishes to give layers of protection against moisture.

These chemical protections are often used on furniture and can help keep your lumber in its best shape and protect it from bad elements that can damage its surface.

Some chemicals can be toxic to your lumber and may not be designed for indoor use. If your lumber is for indoor use, make sure you do some research about chemical protectors with nontoxic ingredients.

You can use borate as a nontoxic chemical to prevent rot on your lumber. Borate has chemical ingredients that prevent fungi and bacteria from growing and causing rot on your wood.

People often use it in lumber after giving it pressure treatment. However, you can also apply it to your untreated lumber as a spray or sealer.

While borate is safe, you still need to pay attention to the usage direction before using it to be safe. Also, research beforehand to double-check whether it’s the right choice according to your needs.

Related: Wood Rot Treatment

How To Check For Symptoms Of Wood Rotting

Woods that are left untreated will rot eventually, especially when stored in a place with sunlight and moisture. It is important to do regular checkups to notice any signs of deterioration.

Here are some contributing factors that can cause wood rotting:

  • Pay attention to holes and cracks in the caulking around doors, windows, doorposts, dryer vents, furniture, and other areas
  • Leakage issues telltale signs: There are stains around the fireplace and on the ceiling.
  • Downspouts and gutters that started to hang and leak.
  • Tree branches or shrubbery grow to the point that they rub against the wood when the wind blows strongly.
  • Paint that started to peel and painted surfaces that started to crack can cause wood to rot.
  • Leaves, twigs, and litter got jammed between wooden decking boards.

What Are The Best Wood Types For Outdoor Use?

As explained in the paragraph above, wood is not recommended to be used outdoors. However, some hardwood types are more resistant to UV damage, moisture, and other elements that can contribute to rotting.

Some popular hardwoods known to be durable and popular for outside use are Cedar, Pine, Teak, and Redwood. As always, research to find out what woods suit your needs.


How Long Will Non Pressure Treated Wood Last Outside