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How To Manage Characterful Wooden Ceiling Beams

Wooden ceiling beams add tremendous character to homes. However, they can be a pain to manage. While it is often possible to keep them in good condition, it is a struggle sometimes. 

Fortunately, this post can help. We take a look at some of the strategies you can implement to ensure they remain looking their best for decades to come. 

Inspect Them For Signs Of Damage Regularly

As a natural material, wood is subject to a degree of wear and tear. In fact, that’s what gives wooden ceiling beams their rustic effect. 

However, you still want to be careful. Letting nature take over can damage beams, forcing you to replace them sooner than you’d like. 

Therefore, you’ll want to regularly inspect them for signs of damage and warping. You should also look for the signs of insect infestation and call termites pest control if you see any telltale signs. If beams are starting to look thin, pay special attention to them to prevent further reduction of the material. 

Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals To Clean The Beams

Cleaning beams regularly to remove cobwebs and grime helps them look good and last longer. However, be careful during the cleaning process. You don’t want to remove any wood or protective coatings that could shorten their lifespan. 

Most homeowners use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. You can also use a light alcohol to remove dirt and grime if you notice any. 

Keep The Humidity Level Constant

It is also a good idea to keep your home’s humidity level constant if you have wood beams. Too much moisture can warp wood, causing it to contort and cause damage to other structural elements. 

Ideally, the humidity should be below 50% in your property, though this can be hard to achieve. Getting it this low will stop wood from absorbing excess moisture and changing shape. 

Paint Your Beams

You can improve your ceiling beams’ robustness by painting them regularly, too. Adding a stain or coating protects them from the elements and even helps them survive in moist environments, like the kitchen or bathroom, adding much-needed character to these spaces. 

Choose A Strong, Durable Wood

If you have the option to do so, choose a strong, durable wood. Getting your selection right can reduce the amount of maintenance required in the future. 

The best woods are oak, maple, and cedar. The latter is particularly beneficial because it contains special chemicals that fight fungal growth in damp conditions, letting the wood maintain its integrity and strength for longer. Other hardwoods are also possible options, though they don’t quite reach the same standards. 

Support Your Beams

You also want to ensure you properly support your beams to reduce the risk of collapse. As homeowners, we focus on the elements of our properties we can see. However, with beams, it is critical to peer behind the curtain and look at the supporting structures. Beams can sometimes fail if the supports aren’t strong enough, so get a structural engineer to check yours every few years. 

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