Here at Gardenplex, we put a lot of care and attention into the manufacture of our products and we want you to enjoy them for many years to come.
To help you get the most out of our products it is useful to know a little more about them, what is normal, what is to be expected and how your product may behave during the changing seasons.
Wood is an extremely durable material for construction but as a natural product when used outdoors it is susceptible to changes in the environment. Depending on the type of product you have and the style of construction, extreme weather conditions may cause reactions in the timber.
Timber is also subject to natural imperfections depending on the growth of the tree. Small imperfections and natural variations won’t affect the structural integrity of your product.
Things that you may see in your product:
Movement, Warping and Twisting: Wood contains a natural level of moisture so changes in humidity levels in the surrounding air may cause planks to change their shape as the fibres shrink. This can be exaggerated during prolonged periods of dry weather. Similarly, in the winter months, the opposite may occur with the wood swelling.
Movement and gaps in timber products are normal – you will see more movement with overlap constructions as the cladding has more room to move. Shiplap and Tongue & Groove constructions are more stable as the panels are interlocking but in hot weather, you may still see some shrinkage. In most cases of warping, the wood will revert to its original form once the high temperatures subside and there is more moisture content in the air.
Splits and Cracks, Expansion and Contraction, All timber will expand and contract according to its environment. As a result of this expansion and contraction, it is very common to see splits and cracks developing in the wood.
Splits are common during the Spring and Summer months as the wood begins to dry out. The outer surface dries first and contracts. The result of this is that splits and cracks appear along the grain of the wood. These splits are not a fault and do not affect the structural integrity of a product. They are simply a part of the how timber product responds to their environment and will usually close over time.
Timber Variation: It is completely natural to see some knots within timber; a knot is formed where a branch attached to a trunk. These are not a cause for concern and do not affect the quality of the product.
We recommend aftercare which will help protect the wood and make it more durable to ensure it lasts longer. Preservatives, also known as wood treatment, can protect all types of timber from discolouration and decay, as well as giving a constant all-year-round colour. An annual wood preservative will protect your new purchase or rejuvenate an existing one.
Keeping your timber building ventilated is important as moisture can become trapped between layers of non-breathable materials and build-up, leading to floors becoming rotten.
Regular housekeeping is also recommended to prolong the life of your product. Ensure debris is not allowed to build up on the roof as this will hold moisture which can lead to the premature wear of any roof covering, cause the product to leak, and ultimately cause the product to rot. Prune back any vegetation that comes into contact with the product as this can also act as a conduit for moisture.
Moisture and Mould Issues with your Garden Building
Mould: Mould is a surface-dwelling fungus that feeds on nutrients and debris contained in the surface cells of timber. The most common problems associated with mould are discolouration of the timber and an increase in permeability of the timber. Mould does not cause the timber to rot.
The application of a good quality preservative that contains a mildewcide is the best preventative measure for mould. If a mould infestation has taken hold then a proprietary brand of mould remover, which again contains mildewcide will be effective in removing the mould.
Blue Stain: Blue stain is part of the same family as moulds but penetrates deeper into the surface layers of the timber. It stains the timber a dark blue colour, whereas mould is usually black. The best way to differentiate between the two is to rub your finger over the affected area. Mould will be visible on your finger whereas Blue Stain won’t due to its penetration of the deeper surface layers. Preventative and remedial measures are the same as the measures used for mould.
Preventing Damp Issues
A major cause of rot is rising damp caused by water being absorbed through the floor bearers and into the floor. To help stop moisture entering the building we do use a damp course membrane so that the floor does not sit directly onto the concrete/slab base.
The type and quality of the base on which your building sites is also crucial, your concrete slab/base must be flat to allow water to run off and prevent it from pooling. A garden building sitting in puddled water will inevitably absorb water.
Moisture in the air caused by damp and wet conditions prevalent in Winter can get trapped inside your building especially if they are not used very often and this can cause condensation on the inside of panels, roof, floor and on items stored inside the building. This condensation can cause mould and mildew to form very quickly.
To combat this we do advise -
- That you allow the building to vent as often as possible to enable fresh air to circulate around the building and stop moisture from building up so open the windows and/or door from time to time.
- Try not to store damp or wet items in your building, dry off bikes, tools etc before storing them.
If you do find mould forming remove it as quickly as possible with an anti mould cleaner before it penetrates and permanently damages the timber.
We would also advise that you apply a suitable preservative to the exterior panels to ensure they are protected during the wettest months of the year.
The life expectancy of an EPDM roof is in excess of 50 years and our roofs come with a 10 year guarantee which covers degradation of the rubber membrane. This guarantee does not cover punctures, tears, abrasions which lead to the function of the membrane being compromised.
It is the customers responsibility to ensure that they maintain the roof by keeping it clear of debris and not placing items on it or against it which may lead to damage.
Our Siberian Larch, Western Red Cedar and Waney Edge boards have a natural resistance to decay of 50+ years and come with a 10 year guarantee. It is expected that customers maintain their garden building by ensuring an adequate airflow around the building and weatherproofing when necessary, using a recommended preservative. Please contact us if you would like further details regarding our recommended preservatives.
Please be aware that there will be natural gradients of colour, knots and other blemishes that are typical of a natural product such as wood.
Our cladding does come with joins which are weatherproof. If this is something you wish to avoid, please discuss with us as we are only too happy to accommodate.
Doors, Windows and glass
Maintenance Guidelines. - These guidelines must be adhered to or you will invalidate your guarantee.
- Products should be washed down periodically with a non-abrasive cleaner and warm water.
- To maintain the mechanism and hinges ensure they are always kept clear of obstruction like builders rubble, plaster residue and other objects.
- All moving parts are to be periodically lubricated using a light, acid-free lubricant to ensure continued ease of operation.
Internal Walls and Ceiling
Please note that some surface cracking in the filler is normal. This can occur due to excesses of damp, cold or heat. We cannot take responsibility for redecoration, general wear and tear and scuffs. If you have any concerns, please contact us for advice.
Whilst our laminate floor has a heavy domestic/light industrial grade of usage we or the manufacturer accept no responsibility against loss of appearance, wear and damage caused by chair legs or castors or other actions that cause undue abrasions to the flooring. We highly recommend you use a product such as a mat which is specially designed to preserve the condition of the flooring it covers.
Please ensure that electrical sockets aren’t overloaded and that all electrical equipment is kept dry. If at any time you think that there is an electrical fault then consult a qualified electrician and always switch off the electrical supply at the consumer unit / fusebox before attempting to remove any electrical items.