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How To Maintain Your New Timber Frame Home

How To Maintain Your New Timber Frame Home

Having worked building, renovating and maintaining timber homes for 20+ years, we know a lot about how to maintain the timbers. We put a lot of care into our builds and we want to make sure our new home owners are well equipped to keep their woods healthy and their dream home looking its best.

Timber Ridge Homes use the finest selection of raw lumber for the interior and exterior of your home. To keep the natural timber materials as strong and beautiful as possible, use these easy-to-follow guidelines:

Exterior Maintenance

The first step to maintaining your home is to protect it from the weather. I’ve seen personally how the elements like rain, snow, wind, and sun can cause damage to your home. Your timber woods may dry out, or the wood may grow moldy or crack from retained moisture. 

The most critical thing we recommend is to make sure you conduct regular check-ups, visually inspecting the wood for any changes. One thing you should watch out for is exposed and faded timbers. As soon as you notice the first sign of fading, it means it’s time to reapply stain. If you wait until the wood grays and weathers, it’s already too late. To get back to the original look, you  might have to strip the wood and start all over.

We always recommend that the exterior timber are protected with a good quality stain. A stain is similar to paint but unlike paint, stain will help to bring out the natural tint and grain of the wood, while also helping to seal the wood against moisture.  Depending on which direction your exterior wood is facing, the weather can play a heavier or lesser role in timber maintenance. For example; if your timber is facing the South, it will be exposed to more UV rays from the sun, thus resulting in more frequent maintenance. With the latest stain products we use, you can expect to apply an added top coat around the 4-5 year mark.

The goal should be to apply stain before you notice any graying. Doing this will help you save a ton of time and trouble later on. 

Here’s a simple 4-step process to ensure you’re applying the stain properly: 

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing ½ cup of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) and 2 gallons of hot water. TSP is a gentle, yet effective cleaning agent that can remove grime, dirt and other impurities without damaging your timber.
  2. Give your timber wood home a thorough wash using the TSP mixture. Don’t forget to practice safety and follow the product’s instructions. 
  3. Rinse off your exterior with water making sure all the TSP is removed. Wait for a few days until the wood is completely dry.
  4. Once the wood is dry, you can now apply a new coat of stain.

On the off chance that your timber wood has weathered, and the stain is peeling off, don’t worry! Use wood bleach to restore wood:

  1. Prepare a wood bleach solution by mixing 1 part oxalic acid with 6 parts warm water.  Oxalic acid is a great bleach to use because it can remove stains, and lighten the weathered look, without removing the natural color of the wood. 
  2. Apply the wood bleach mixture to your exterior and scrub it thoroughly with a brush. Don’t forget to practice safety and follow the product’s instructions. 
  3. Rinse off everything with water and make sure that no residue remains. Wait for a few days until the wood is completely dry.
  4. Once the wood is dry, you can now apply a new coat of stain.

Again, the key is to be diligent. Commit yourself to a schedule of maintenance. Moreover, take all the preventative measures you can to ensure that your beautiful timber frame home is properly protected from any foreseeable issues. Remember too that you can apply insecticide and fungicide to protect against insects and mold if those become a problem.

On top of these maintenance tips, there are some helpful features in a home’s design that may help prevent structural decay and weathering, such as the use of stainless steel or aluminum plates to hold timber frame posts. Also roof gutters can prevent back splash from heavy rains, and large roof overhangs can shade and protect exterior timbers from rain and UV rays. Some homeowners also choose UV-blocking glass windows which help prevent discoloration of interior wood. A well designed house will help make maintenance of your home easier in the long run. 

Interior Maintenance 

Aside from taking care of your timber home from the outside, we believe it’s equally as important to take care of it from the inside. The good thing is, maintaining a timber home isn’t difficult when you take some simple steps to preserve it.

Here are 5 tips that will help keep your interior woods looking their best:

  1. Use a water-based stain product such as Sansin for best longevity, cleaning capability and sealing of your timbers.
  2. In the same way you stain your exteriors once in a while, we also recommend you stain the interior wood every five to six years with a solid stain. This helps to protect the timber and give your wood that natural, beautiful sheen.
  3. One of the biggest problems with heavy timber is the low level of humidity indoors. This can dry out the wood and cause it to shrink and warp. If this happens to your home, invest in a humidifier to keep humidity at an optimum level.  Winter and summer months provide different levels of humidity; summer higher, winter lower.  The ideal humidity level is 40%.
  4. Keep the entire house ventilated. This is even more important in your kitchen because as you cook, oils are released and float through the house. This can discolor cabinetry, ceilings and other nearby wood.
  5. Try to refrain from touching the timbers too often. The oils from our hands can break down the stain in the high touch areas of the posts and beams.


Owning a beautiful timber home is a great investment and the fulfillment of a dream. In order for your investment to last, it’s important to take the time to maintain it.

The good thing is, maintaining a timber home doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is some good design choices during the construction process, the use of high quality materials,  and regular check-ups. 

Take care of your home and it will take care of you!