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Home > Products > Porches - START HERE! > ONLINE PORCH GUIDE > Installation of Porch Parts > Important Installation Considerations

Important Installation Considerations

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Upon arrival, please check all packages carefully for concealed damage. Report all damage immediately to the carrier. Call us at (903) 356-2158 if you have any problems or questions.

Care and Feeding of Exterior Millwork
1. Never, ever expose unpainted millwork to direct sunlight!

2. Always protect unpainted millwork from moist conditions, such as storage on the ground, on concrete, or where rain blows in.

3. Always use a good oil-based primer and finish coats. Paint all surfaces (including ends) before exposure to sunlight. See Painting section.

Natural Movement of Wood
It is the nature of wood to expand and contract with changes in the surrounding humidity. When subjected to rapid variations in humidity, particularly rapid drying, cracks and warps can occur. Fortunately, such events do not generally affect the strength of the wood.

Even kiln-dried wood still contains water. Our wood is kiln-dried to 8%-12% moisture content (except Cedar, which is air-dried). If stored improperly, these percentages can increase quickly, as raw wood absorbs moisture readily from its surroundings!

Internal Stress
Then, if this moisture-laden wood is allowed to dry too quickly, the internal stress causes cracks and twists to appear. Kiln operators are skilled professionals at the art of wood drying, and they still lose many boards to splits and warping! A sure torture treatment for unpainted wood is to first store it for awhile under damp conditions, and then put in direct sunlight. Sunlight, even when coming through a window, acts as a low temperature oven. Even a few hours in direct sunlight can rapidly dry unpainted wood, greatly increasing the risk of cracking or warping.

Avoiding Problems
Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid most cracking and twisting! Since rapid drying of excess internal moisture is the culprit, you need to both avoid the build-up of internal moisture and limit the rate of drying.

Both goals are met initially by proper storage and, for the long run, by completely painting all surfaces of each item with a good oil-based primer and multiple finish coats of oil-based paint.

By following our guidelines for proper storage, painting, and installation, you will eliminate most cracks and warps.

Proper Storage
Store items inside if at all possible and away from direct sunlight prior to painting. If items must be stored outside, be sure they are well off the ground, protected with a waterproof/lightproof cover, and well ventilated.

NEVER allow wood to come in direct contact with concrete or other masonry, as the relatively porous concrete will serve as a conduit for moving moisture out of the air or ground and into the wood. (Most Porch Posts set directly on concrete foundations soon rot at the bottoms. Our Post Mounting Blocks or Plates plus proper painting of Post ends will help prevent this.)

Why take a chance? Please store all unpainted wood very carefully.

We are available by phone or email for free personalized consultation.

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