Over the summer months, everything outside of our homes is exposed to increased levels of sunlight, or the UV rays that the sun produces. While many people love the glow that it gives their skin, it can start to take its toll on some of your external features. This can include your garden gates. So no matter how old or new your gates are, it’s always important to ensure that they are properly treated.
Protecting your gates before the sun has the chance to damage them is always the best option. However, we know in some cases it might already be too late (see below). If you have recently had your gates fitted, now is a great time to ensure that they have adequate protection from the suns rays, just like you would with your skin.
Your new gates should already contain enough moisture to ensure that oil is not required before any varnish or paint is applied. This means you can go ahead and find the right treatment to suit your style. This might be a clear varnish (which will act as sun protection) or even a coloured paint to tie in with the rest of your home. Remember to read the labels to ensure that the product offers sun or UV protection for your wood as this will help to reduce the treatments that are required.
For most external wooden features, gates in particular as covering them isn’t an option, you can tell when they have been exposed to the sun. The wood can appear bleached and quite often grey in colour. This is when you need to start to take action in restoring your gates back to their former glory.
Usually, with most wooden features you would sand back the top layer of the wood to remove the bleached surface and reveal the beautiful colour and grain underneath. However, with a gate, it isn’t always so easy to sand evenly, it’s also a fairly drastic measure if the wood on the gate is slightly thinner.
Before taking any drastic action you can look at treating your gates with teak oil. This should help to restore most of the moisture back to your wood and improve the colour and grain in the wood. Before applying teak oil ensure that you clean away any dirt and grime (your gate may look clean, but as they live outside they can attract dirt that you may not immediately notice). If you use water to remove grime, try to allow time for this to dry before applying oil.
There are many other wood oils on the market, but please ensure that they are suitable for outdoor use, otherwise, further exposure could lead to damage. Teak oil helps to increase the water-resistance of the wood before you even apply varnish or stains.
If you plan to varnish or stain your gates after you have treated them with teak oil, please allow adequate time for this to completely soak in and any excess surface oil to dry away, this could take a couple of days.
When varnishing or staining, many brands have now included their weather protection efficiency on the paint can. It is advised to ensure that whichever you use, it protects from both sun and rain.
There has been research to suggest that the best form of protection for your gates against further sun damage is an outdoor wood paint. This protection will last longer and reduce any visible sun damage. However, you will lose the natural colour of the wood.
If your sun-damaged gates are beyond saving, please speak to a member of our friendly team who will be happy to discuss your options for replacement gates, including bespoke gates. You can also check out our blogs for a range of other information.