Winterizing your home can mean more than insulation; spruce up the things that the elements can damage before the cold weather hits in full force. Wood repair and wood rot repair is perfect for this. Floor maintenance keeps your hardwood looking good, but you should also fix the everyday damage and rot that happens throughout the year. Tackle these five tasks around the home and you'll see a big improvement in your home before next spring.
Freshen Up the Windows
If you have wooden window frames or window sills, you should give them regular reinforcing every few years or even every winter, depending on how harsh your weather gets. Fill small cracks with wood putty and apply new caulking around the edges. This will keep the cold from leaking into your home, and protect the wood itself from the damage dry air causes. For prettier protection, repaint your windows every few years. Not only will this keep windows looking nice, but it will give the wood a protective seal against cracking. If your wood windows are stained, rather than painted, give them a new coat of stain and polyurethane every few years as well.
Rescue from Wood Rot
If there is any rotting wood present around your doors, windows or floors, you want to repair it before cold weather weakens it further. Rotting wood is dangerous because it can't bear weight and will chip away easily, leaving you with holes in your wood work. Fine Woodworking suggests using epoxy wood filler to repair rot damage in small patches. When rot affects bigger patches of wood, however, the decay should be cut out completely so you can retain the item's stability. If you can't match the wood exactly to the original, use stain to help the new wood blend into the old.
Repair Scratches and Claw Marks
No matter how much you love your wood furniture, and no matter how much you polish it with Murphy® Oil Soap Orange Oil, damage happens. Children, pets and related aspects of day-to-day living can cause all sorts of little scratches, nicks and physical damage to wood furniture. Luckily, there are some surprisingly simple wood repair fixes for these problems to help you restore your wooden furniture despite this natural wear.
Use wood wax on small scratches and shallow cuts. Pick a wax whose color is as close to your wood finish as you can get, and the small scratches should virtually disappear. For pet damage and more shallow defects, according to This Old House, start with a paste wax. For deeper issues, include sandpaper to smooth down any rough patches and re-level finish. Fill in lingering holes and chips with wood filler. You can also apply fresh stain to the wood or use wood fill crayons to cover up your patchwork. Made with wax, fill crayons come in many wood shades to blend right in with your furniture.
Your Kitchen Is Nuts
After a whole year of meals, your wooden cabinets are going to show signs of wear. Touch them up every fall to keep them looking like new. How? There's a simple way to repair scratches in kitchen cabinets, and it involves something you may already have inside them: a walnut. Shell the nut and rub the meat inside directly on the scratch. Wipe away the excess, and the scratch should be filled in. If this approach doesn't work, try a wood touch-up pen. They're designed specifically to fill scratches in wood.
Delete the Dark Spots
Accidents happen, spills occur and people forget to use coasters. You're spending more time indoors during the fall, so take this opportunity to get rid of dark rings and similar discoloration your wood weathers each autumn. Depending on the wood's natural appearance, dark spots can actually be lightened with bleach. Dilute your bleach with water and apply it directly to the darkened area with a sponge. Let the solution sit on the area for up to 10 minutes (not much longer) and wipe it away with a damp cloth. Repeat as needed until the dark spot finally fades.
Repair the wood around your house to keep it looking nice regardless of the temperature, and prevent any damage that the harsh winter might cause. Fix scratches, get rid of the rot before it infects more and freshen up the woodwork all over your house. With just a little consistent maintenance, you'll see a big difference everywhere you look.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.