Protecting outdoor wood: Extending the life of patio furniture, fences and carports

Protecting outdoor wood: Extending the life of patio furniture, fences and carports

Exterior wood suffers the weather as well as pests and fungi. In order to extend the lifespan of garden houses, balcony furniture, fences and carports significantly, regular painting or glazing is necessary. We'll tell you what to look for when doing this.

Using finishing, weatherproofing and wood preservatives properly

You can find various products to protect wood in outdoor areas:

  1. Finishing agents
  2. Weatherproofing agents
  3. Wood preservatives

For garden wood that is not directly exposed to water spray or rain, finishing agents should be used. They protect the surface from fading and protect it. However, pieces of wood which are exposed to the weather should be treated with weatherproofing agents. Then the water rolls off the wood surface. Wood preservatives contain biocides that kill fungi or insects. They should only be used for wood that is directly in the water or in the ground, such as for the posts of a carport or for fences.

For environmental and health-friendly glazes and paints

Regular painting with glazes or paints is sufficient for wood care in most cases. Glazes that are not opaque are perfect if you want to preserve the wood grain. Paints, on the other hand, usually cover the natural wood structure. Paint dimensionally stable wooden parts such as windows and doors every two years with an environmentally friendly thick-layer glaze. For components that may warp a little, we recommend an annual treatment with a qualitative thin-layer glaze.

If you do not want to paint so often, you can also treat the wood parts with varnish. It lasts four to five years.

When choosing the right product, you should not only think about the perfect protection for your wood, but also about your own health. In particular, solvent-based wood stains can contain many pollutants, some of which are harmful to health. Water-based wood stains are lower in emissions and less hazardous to health. Both variants can be found in the hardware store. However, solvent-based products can penetrate deeper into the wood and therefore provide better moisture protection.

Wood preservatives should be avoided

Commercially available wood preservatives contain biocides to kill fungi or insects. This is done either biologically or chemically. In this way, building materials are to be protected from damage. However, as the biocides do not only kill the target organisms, the environmental institute recommends using wood preservatives only when absolutely necessary and otherwise dispense with them.

Wood can best be protected by constructive measures

The best protection for wood in the Outdoor is to keep it dry. Insects and fungi need some moisture to survive and multiply in the wood. Accordingly, so-called constructive measures are best, because they prevent the wood is permanently exposed to moisture. These include, for example:

  • Roof overhangs in buildings
  • Post shoes in carport or fence posts
  • Slopes in terraces

It also depends on the selection of the type of wood, how weather-resistant wood is outdoors.

Oak and Robinia are comparatively weather resistant, while larch and pine resistance is mediocre. Spruce and fir, on the other hand, are characterized by a low natural resistance to fungi.


Wood is a popular material for furniture, carports, garden sheds and fences. However, it regularly needs a new coat of paint to increase weather resistance and protect it from fungus and disease. Which glazes and lacquers are best suited depends primarily on the location of the wood, but wood preservatives should rather not be used.

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