How Moisture Is Wood’s Biggest Enemy

wooden blinds

When it comes to choosing your suppliers of bolts and nuts, it’s not enough they have the specific types you need. It’s equally essential to make sure these materials have anti-corrosive features such as zinc coating, mainly if you’re working with wood.

The Growing Popularity of Wood Construction

In Australia, wood has always been a construction material, but over the decades, steel and brick overshadowed its popularity. It’s only in recent years it seemed to achieve a comeback.

A significant reason for it is a change in the construction code. Like other countries, Australia now allows the building of wooden properties up to 8 stories in height. Some designs also now use wood as cross-laminated timber.

Sustainability awareness is also driving demand. For many people, wood is an environment-friendly material. Australia has one of the most regulated forests for wood products, after all. It also uses significantly less energy than producing steel, which also contributes to carbon emissions and, thus, global warming.

Some studies also suggest the health benefits of wood. Research in countries such as Austria and Canada where wood is a standard construction material showed it could influence the reduction of stress, faster recovery, and lowered pain perception. It could be because wood reminds them of nature, and being surrounded by natural elements can promote relaxation.

The Issues with Wood

log cabin

In spite of the revived demand for wood, it still faces a couple of challenges. One of these is its tendency to hold moisture. The way wood responds to moisture is hygroscopic. In other words, it depends on the level of humidity in its surroundings. Like a sponge, it accumulates water from moisture when humidity is high. The content then decreases when it is low.

When the moisture content goes up, however, the wood can expand. Then it contracts as soon as humidity levels go down. Over time, these fluctuations can lead to cracks. When water gets into the wood, it penetrates the fibrous walls first. Then, when water fills it, it accumulates in the tubular cells. When water is accessible, it can result in two things: growth in bacteria and rusting of the construction materials such as nuts and bolts.

Rusting is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the metal exposes itself to oxygen, which can come from the wood’s moisture. When it undergoes such a process, it becomes prone to breakage over time. It can also affect the stability of the wood, not to mention it can be dangerous to people’s health.

While the best way to fasten your wood is using nuts and bolts, it now becomes vital to choose those with zinc as it protects the metal from corrosion and rusting.

Another potential issue is the growth of fungi, which leads to or worsens wood rot. The types of fungi can also be harmful to your health, and they can be microscopic enough for people to inhale.

Wood remains one of the most sustainable materials, and depending on the actual wood, it can last for many years. But it also needs support, including choosing the right fasteners and reducing its chances of accumulating moisture.