The historical significance of old oak in our homes and properties has always been readily apparent – they are quite important and can make up an integral part of our property’s character and value. If you have old oak beams in the living area of your property or on its exterior, then you know very well how essential it is to keep it in tip-top shape. If it is already showing some signs of age and wear and tear, you can make an effort to restore it so it can last for an even longer time. But wanting to preserve and restore it is one matter – how you can do it properly is another matter altogether. Keep in mind that even though oak is one of the hardiest and sturdiest types of wood around, there are ways to restore it that will not damage the wood’s integrity. That said, here are some top tips for the proper restoration of older oak beams: what you should remember.
The proper treatment for old oak beams
One of the best ways you can make sure that you properly restore your old oak beams is to determine the issue itself and what has caused it. Old or aged oak beams can suffer from various types of damage, be it an infestation, mildew, moisture, soot, and more. Also, external treatment is different from internal treatment, so bear this in mind as well. You first have to figure out the actual damage to your oak beams to know the proper treatment for it. For instance, if you have blackened oak beams, this could be due to water penetrating the interior of the beam and reacting with the wood’s tannin. If the beams have been continuously exposed to the elements (especially if they are placed on the outside of your property or structure), the beams could appear shiny and silvery, and this would warrant a different type of restoration and treatment process.
Internal damage is best treated by the experts, as specialists in beam restoration and renovation like Bespokebeams.co.uk will know. Specialists know that oak wood can be pretty delicate, especially if it is old, so they will make sure to treat and restore it as gently as possible without marring the wood’s integrity and stability. But if the issues are merely external, there are some things you can do as well.
Recommendations for external treatment
As mentioned, if the problems are more on the surface and you want to create a more aesthetically pleasing look for your oak beams, you have the option to apply a clear finish. Take note, though: the finish will not entirely be clear per se; it may just bring out the natural colour of the oak and make it appear darker and warmer.
For simple and straightforward treatment, and if you want to enhance the wood’s natural look, you can use a wood preservative on the surface of the beam and then enhance this with another wood product that can protect the wood from UV rays. Products like these are also great at preventing rot or disease within the beam. But if the old oak beams in your structure have more significant damage, particularly internal damage, your best option is to seek a professional’s help for its complete restoration.