Columns & Pilasters, Selecting A General-care-of-hardwood-colum
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MAINTENANCE OF HARDWOOD COLUMNS
Humidity & Sunlight Related Issues
As with all wood products, avoid excessive moisture and direct sunlight. Our wood columns are designed for use inside the home or other buildings and are not intended for outdoor applications. If you require an exterior column, contact us for a customized quote as specific wood species and glues are required.
Solid wood reacts to the environment it is in; wood fibers expand and contract as they try to maintain equilibrium with the moisture in the environment. It is recommended that you allow your wood columns to condition to the environment at the venue of installation a week prior to installation. Failure to do so may result in warping or splitting.
Humidity is the key to keeping wood in good condition. One of the best things you can do is to keep the humidity in the room at 45% or HIGHER. Furthermore, avoid excessive direct sunlight as it heats up the wood and causes the water within it to evaporate; very dry wood may split. Direct sunlight may also degrade finishes and wood colorants. Clear finishes often turn yellow or opaque in response to direct sunlight, and the color of the wood itself can also change. If your decorative column will be exposed to excessive direct sunlight, be sure to use a UV inhibitor in the finish.
Suggested Cleaning and Care
With regular care and maintenance, your hardwood columns will provide years of superior performance and satisfaction. To maintain the finish quality of your hardwood columns, please follow the cleaning procedures provided below. The instructions for the care and maintenance of our products are provided to you as a service. No warranty is implied since results may vary.
Decorative columns are easy to clean and maintain; all it takes is a little care and a few simple steps to keep your hardwood columns in great shape and looking their best. Once your finished column has been installed, wipe down all exteriors with a clean dry cloth to remove dust. AIC Millworks recommends an emulsion-type cleaner such as Murphy's Oil Soap. These are formulated without wax, petroleum solvents or silicones. Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads or powdered cleansers.
General cleaning and care of your wood column is the same regardless of the type of finish. One should avoid using wet cloths, as this could stain and damage the column's finish. Instead, dust your column surface regularly using a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a dust brush attachment. This reduces the build up of dirt while preventing scratches and ground-in grime. A soft cotton cloth or artist’s brush is best for dusting. Feather dusters are not recommended for dusting as the feathers tend to get caught in cracks and crevices. If the wood column is directly exposed to water or other liquid, wipe it up immediately with a cloth. For stubborn stains, it may be necessary to use a mild detergent with warm water. Always dry the surface immediately.
So what are the best products to add luster and clean the surface of the fine wood column? This question is best answered by asking yourself what is most important to your household. Are you looking for a longer lasting shine or easy dusting? If a long lasting shine is your goal try using paste wax. Wax is a very stable material that does not change chemically over time and provides protection from moisture and airborne pollutants. Good quality paste wax is available in most hardware stores. A thin coat applied following the directions on the can is all that is needed, no more than once a year.
If your goal is easy cleanup of fingerprints and the “fresh” look and smell in the room we recommend using a furniture polish. Try to find one that has a slower evaporation rate. Remember once the product evaporates off the surface there is no more limited protection.
Furniture oils are not recommended for maintenance as many of them contain linseed oil or other drying oils, and when used repeatedly will create a gummy, insoluble surface coating that darkens and obscures the grain of the wood. Other furniture polishes contain non-drying oils such as lemon oil and although they do not harden or darken, they nevertheless attract and entrap dirt and grime. Silicone polishes are also not recommended as they leave a film that is difficult to remove and can interfere with future finish treatments.