The test of time
It is no exaggeration that wood structures withstand the test of time for many centuries in fact and with no adverse effects to the environment.
- The vast age of existing trees, even those that have died, are still around today with no protection whatsoever.
- There are still in existence today, useful and functional wooden buildings that are many centuries old (i.e. a 1000 year old Japanese temple).
- Intact wooden boats at the bottom of the sea that are 2000 to 3000 years old, with only the simplest form of protection against organisms and fungus; lack of oxygen!
As long as simple maintenance guidelines are adhered to, Timber homes are extremely durable.
Resistance to damp
For a wooden structure to stand the test of time it has to be damp proofed. With adequate architectural planning this can be achieved. The correct protection and maintenance must also be applied.
Resistance to damp is the single most important factor in the woods durability. A humidity of at least 20% and a temperature of at least 5ºC are required to prevent discolouration and resistance to microorganisms and fungus. Only a humidity of over 85% for a prolonged period of time can pose a threat to the wood.
Furthermore we have all seen timber being stored in lakes and transported in rivers by forest caretakers. This shows that a simple varnish is all that is needed to protect the timber from damp for many years.
Resistance to stress, wear, bending, kinking and shock
The mechanical strength of wood is undervalued and unfortunately, this translates into unnecessary expenditures by uninformed buyer.
The fact that many tool handles such as hammers, shovels and axes are made of wood, even in advanced countries, is no coincidence.
The elasticity of wood allows it to be used in smaller sections or in very long ones. This is why the best ship hulls, in relation to the cost, are still made of wood.