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Tips on Caring for Your Custom Wood Gate

Custom wood gates make a wonderful addition to any Albuquerque home. However, proper care of your custom gate is a must to keep it looking great.

While wood is a sturdy, robust material, it does degrade over time when exposed to the elements. Continuous exposure to sun and moisture impacts the way wood looks, as well as the function of your gate should it become too damaged. Fortunately, you can mitigate these issues with the right maintenance.

How Moisture & Sun Exposure Damage Your Wood Gate

Wood easily absorbs water due to its porous nature. This causes a shrinking and swelling effect, and after so long your gate will lose its original shape. At some point, it will become difficult to even open and close your gate, and it may even become stuck if the problem isn’t addressed.

Excessive sun exposure, which is a constant in New Mexico, is another concern. Too much sun causes aesthetic issues with your wood gate by creating a faded appearance. This results in your once-beautiful gate taking on an unappealing grey or sun-bleached hue. 

What You Can Do to Prevent Damage

Sealing and staining is the best way to ensure your custom gate remains intact for as long as possible. Sealing works by filling in the pores of wood with a penetrating oil so that water can no longer be absorbed. Instead, water will bead and roll off the gate to prevent warping. Additionally, dark-colored stains with UV protection prevent bleaching by reflecting the sun’s harmful rays. Avoid clear or natural stains, as they won’t offer the same level of UV defense as stains with dark pigments. 

What We Recommend

While Narrow Leaf Woodworks takes the time to seal and stain all custom wood gates we build for our customers, products must be reapplied regularly to ensure the wood remains protected.

We recommend staining and sealing at least once a year for the best results. We also suggest using a similar product to what we use when finishing off your gate. We prefer Penofin brand wood sealer, which includes both penetrating oil and pigment for maximum protection. Lastly, inspect any hardware on your gate when performing your yearly staining and sealing ritual. If loose, take a moment to tighten screws and bolts.