How to Care for Your Bamboo
There are countless properties in which make bamboo a favorable choice when it comes to selecting a building material. Not only is bamboo versatile and can be used for almost any decorative or structural function, but its natural rapid growth makes it a renewable resource. Being incredibly light weight, bamboo also has an incredible stock strength which it’s tensile is measured at 28,000/sq in while steel is 23,000. With some careful planning, the right materials and tools, and some creative outlook, you can use bamboo and all its benefits throughout your home and garden.
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After purchasing your bamboo, there are various simple tasks that will aid in extending the life of your bamboo and up keeping the quality. Whether you are looking to restore, enhance or treat your bamboo product, here are some effective ways to help you get the most life out of your purchase.
When first purchasing your bamboo
Just like planning your landscaping, knowing what you want before buying is very important. You need to know what the bamboo will be used for and where it’s placement will be. For outdoor uses, Natural and Black will maintain their color the longest (especially if treated). Mahogany will fade sooner but can maintain its color longer if kept from direct sunlight.
For thousands of years in Asia, many have used bamboo as a construction material, so if cared for properly, your bamboo can last you for decades.
Keeping your bamboo clean will help keep the natural color and texture longer.
- Remove excess dirt and remove environment stains using soap/detergent and water
- Atleast once a year, pressure wash your bamboo with a hose.
- Make sure your bamboo is completely dry before applying protectants and sealants.
Cracking and Splitting
Like other organic woods, it is natural for bamboo to split and crack in areas over time, especially in climates that are dry and hot. Smaller diameter bamboo will split less frequently than thicker bamboo.
- To prevent and reduce cracking, drill holes between each node to release air pressure.
- Through the entire pole, run a thin stick or broomstick.
- Apply sealants in which give for movement, this can reduce how much the bamboo splits.
How to Stain Bamboo
Like most untreated building materials, if exposed to the environment and direct sunlight, colors can change over time. Bamboo’s natural color can fade to a silver grey. To stain bamboo:
- Due to bamboo’s protective coating, you will need to sand the bamboo first. Only sand enough to notice the difference in surface texture.
- Stain a small area to ensure the desired effect.
- To apply the stain, use a paint brush then wipe excess off with a rag. 2-5 coats is usually sufficient to deliver a nice coloring. Monitor the color after each application.
- It is very important to apply a sealant to help protect the color.
All organic materials are subject to mold or mildew, but using a fungicide and then applying a sealant after dry, will aid in reducing such occurrences.
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