Since wood is a porous material it can absorb and release moisture with changing humidity and storms. As wood absorbs this water, it expands as the cells fill with water molecules. Upon release of the water, the cells shrink back to their normal size. This process causes “wood movement” and cannot be completely stopped. It can be slowed so it does not damage the gate. Fast wood movement damages gates. The other element that attacks our gates is direct sunshine. The sun speeds the drying process of a damp gate and it also fades the natural wood color to varying shades of grey/brown. The third nemesis of wood outdoors is fungus/mold/mildew. Since our climate is so dry this is not that big of an issue here. Most sealers today include mildew inhibitors.
Imagine wood pores as a reservoir that can hold a limited volume of liquid. We want to fill these pores with penetrating oil so there is no room left for water moisture to absorb. The reservoir is full of oil instead. Rain and snow bead and fall off. This is the most important protection you can give your Albuquerque custom wood gate. But, this oil slowly evaporates into the atmosphere and will need to be re-applied. The intense sunshine in New Mexico evaporates this oil faster than in a cooler humid climate. We recommend applying penetrating oil once a year to keep your gate looking new. It is easy to apply since it’s a wipe on/wipe off procedure and dirt doesn’t “stick” to it.
To stop the sun from bleaching or greying your Albuquerque solid wood gate you need to apply a penetrating oil that also has a colored stain included. The pigments in the stain reflect the harsh UV rays. The darker the stain color, the longer the UV protection. We do not recommend “clear” or “natural” stain colors as your gate could turn grey with these.
Your gate has already been stained (pigment) and sealed (penetrating oil) with Penofin brand wood sealer. This sealer is comprised of Rosewood penetrating oil with a colored stain included. We recommend you apply the same or similar product annually to keep your gate in perfect condition and prolong the enjoyment of your investment. Annually check the hinges and door handle fasteners and retighten if needed. With a minimum of effort your Albuquerque garden wood gate will last for many years without issue.