How To Protect Wood from Sun Damage

Date: 6th June 2024
Categories: Barrettine, Products

While sun damage can wreak havoc on exterior timber, one of the best ways to protect wood from sun damage is to use a UV protection oil.

As experts in woodcare, at Barrettine we have developed a range of innovative solutions to keep your exterior timber looking and performing at its best for years to come. We’ll explore the threats posed by sun damage and guide you through the best ways to protect your wood with UV protection oil.

Understanding sun damage to wood

Sun damage manifests itself in several ways. The most noticeable is typically a change in colour. Wood exposed to UV light will often lighten or fade, losing its original richness. 

The type of wood can also affect the amount of damage caused by natural light and the sun's UV rays, with softwoods being more prone compared to hardwoods.

Can sun damage cause structural issues with timber?

Beyond aesthetics, UV rays also contribute to the physical breakdown of lignin, the natural binding agent that gives wood its strength.

Over time, sun exposure causes the surface to become brittle and crack. This can lead to splintering and eventually expose the underlying wood to moisture, accelerating decay and leading to rot. This can weaken the wood's structural integrity.

Does wood need to be in direct sunlight for it to be vulnerable to sun damage?

While direct sunlight is the strongest culprit for UV damage on wood, it doesn't necessarily need to be in direct sunlight to be vulnerable. Timber in indirect sunlight and seemingly shaded areas can still be vulnerable to UV rays. The impact of indirect UV exposure will be less severe compared to direct sunlight, but it can still cause gradual fading and colour changes over extended periods.

So, while sheltering your exterior timber in a shaded location is a good strategy to extend its lifespan and reduce sun damage, shade doesn't completely eliminate UV exposure.

What is the best way to protect wood from UV damage?

The most effective way to protect your timber from sun damage is to apply a UV protection oil. This acts as a protective barrier against the sun's rays, absorbing and dissipating harmful UV rays before they can penetrate the wood's surface. This helps to preserve the wood's natural beauty and structural integrity.

Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil: a premium blend of natural waxes and oils

At Barrettine, we’ve developed an innovative formula to protect wood from sun damage - our Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil.

This specialist coating is a premium blend of natural oils, waxes, and resins which incorporates advanced UV stabilising technology. This translates to exceptional resistance against UV rays and weathering, helping to prevent fading, greying, and cracking. This proactive approach will keep timber protected from the sun's rays and maintain the beauty of the wood grain.

The best part is that our UV protection oil also boasts an added bonus - the water-repellent formula shields your wood from moisture ingress that can lead to rot. 

It's ideal for use on a variety of exterior wooden surfaces and high end structures, including wooden cladding, log cabins, doors and window frames to name a few.

The bigger picture: protecting exterior timber against moisture, fungi and insects

While sun protection is crucial, it's just one piece of the puzzle. For complete peace of mind, remember that exterior wood also faces threats from moisture, fungi, and insects. That's why it’s important to use a primer or preservative before applying UV protection oil.

Two-step system for complete wood protection: Barrettine Clear Universal Wood Preserver

For comprehensive protection, when you are wanting to retain the natural look and character of the wood and not stain, we recommend using Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil as part of a system alongside Barrettine Clear Universal Wood Preserver. This priming treatment penetrates deep into the wood, offering long-lasting protection against fungal decay and wood-boring insects. 

Barrettine Clear Universal Wood Preserver must be used first, with a minimum of 24 hours of drying time allowed before applying the UV protection oil.

By combining Armourflex® with Clear Universal Wood Preserver, you create a robust shield that safeguards your wood from a range of threats, ensuring it remains strong and beautiful for years to come.

How to apply Armourflex Ultimate UV Protection Oil

Once you’ve applied a primer preserver, you can then apply a UV protection oil.

Applying Armourflex® UV Protection Oil is a straightforward process. Ensure the wood is clean and dry. Use a high-quality brush or roller to apply the oil evenly, ensuring good saturation on the first coat. Subsequent coats can be thinner than the previous coat.

Allow a minimum of 4 hours drying time between coats, and at least 10 hours before exposing the wood to rain or frost. For best results, we recommend testing a small area first to ensure you're happy with the final finish.

Protecting decking from UV damage

Decking is a particular area that requires careful consideration when it comes to sun damage. In addition to UV rays and weather, decking also needs protection from foot traffic.

Barretine Decking Oil All-In-One-Treatment is a single-step, all-in-one solution that addresses these needs effectively. This oil combines UV fade-resistant pigments with water repellence agents, offering outstanding protection against sun damage, rain, and everyday wear and tear.

This product is easy to apply and provides a long-lasting, attractive finish, making it the perfect choice for keeping decking protected. In addition to this, and to combat slippery surfaces the award-winning Anti-slip Top Coat Decking Oil can be applied after. This will future proof any slippery surfaces and improve grip on decking and wooden steps or handrails.

Innovative woodcare products from Barrettine

By understanding the threats posed by sun damage and taking proactive steps to protect wood, you can extend the lifespan and durability of your wooden features and ensure they continue to add value and beauty to your projects.

Barretine offers a range of high-quality woodcare products designed to meet your specific needs. From Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil to Barretine Clear Universal Wood Preserver and Barretine Decking Oil All-In-One-Treatment, we have the solutions you need to keep your wood looking its best, season after season.

Protect wood from sun damage: find your local stockist today

You can find your local stockist of Barrettine products, including Armourflex® Ultimate UV Protection Oil and Clear Universal Wood Preserver, online. Simply follow this link for quick and easy access to the retailers near you.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our sales team by emailing . We're always happy to help!

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