Why Wait 4-12 Months for New Wood To Season Before Staining with TWP
It is no secret that new wood needs to be stained and protected from the elements in order to look good and last a long time. Whether it is a new deck, fence, siding, shakes, a gazebo or maybe a pergola it will need to “season” before it can be stained with TWP or any type of stain. Seasoning is the process of allowing new wood to dry. New wood is very high in moisture and can take anywhere from 4-12 months to dry out.
Why wait 4-12 months for new wood to season? If you do not wait and you decide to stain new wood too soon it can cause many problems down the road. Essentially what is happening when a stain is applied too soon is moisture is being locked in the wood. This trapped moisture can cause extensive mold and mildew problems for the life of the wood. This can quickly progress to wood rot and decay. In a worse case scenario, the wood can deteriorate quickly due to moisture being present and lose its structural integrity. Staining prior to proper seasoning can mean premature costly repairs and replacements.
The reason for the wide gap of 4-12 months for new wood to season is based on several factors. For instance, your area’s climate and local weather will play a roll. A hot and humid climate will cause the seasoning period to be prolonged compared to wood in a hot and dry climate.
Also another factor can be the amount of sun exposure the wood receives throughout the day. A south facing wood surface in an open area will receive a significant amount of sun helping the wood to season faster than one in a mostly shaded environment. The best way to check the moisture content of a wood surface is to use a moisture meter. Allowing new wood to season to a 15% or less moisture reading prior to staining with TWP is highly recommended.