How to Care for Your Bamboo
Durability, a natural aesthetic and versatility to compliment almost any environment or décor are a few of the features that make Bamboo such an ideal building material. Bamboo fencing in particular can conveniently cover an old fence, accent a wall, or serve as a gate to separate varying spaces. With a little creativity, accurate measurements and basic tools, you can use utilize the benefits of bamboo for almost any function.
Although bamboo has a natural protective coating, and depending on what type you purchase, it could also have a varnish or stain on it, just like any natural material, there are steps you can take to care for, treat and help prolong the life of your building material.
Whether you are interested in enhancing, treating, or restoration techniques, here are some convenient and effective ways to help you garner the most use and extend the life of your bamboo.
What to do when first purchasing your bamboo
Before purchasing your Bamboo, you want to have an idea of what it’s uses will be. The best color for outdoor use is “The Natural” lightest color or the Natural Black, if the fence is going to be exposed to natural elements. Mahogany can be used outdoors if not kept in direct sunlight, as the color will fade. Tokin Bamboo has been used for thousands of years as a construction material in Asia, so when your bamboo is treated and cared for, it can last decades for many uses.
Proper care for your bamboo will help maintain the color and look of it. To clean your bamboo and remove any dirt or environment stains:
• Wash with soap or detergent and water, and rinse with a pressure wash.
• Before applying any water sealants or protectants, ensure your bamboo is completely dry.
• A good powerwash is recommended atleast once a year.
Splitting and Cracking
It is natural for bamboo to crack or split in certain areas especially in dryer and hotter climates. Bamboo which is smaller in diameter is less frequent to crack then larger ones. To help prevent and reduce the cracking you can do the following:
• Between each node on the bamboo, drilling holes will help release air and pressure
• Run a long object (similar to broomstick) through the entire pole.
• Certain sealants that are flexible to movement in woods can aid with minimizing cracking.
It is natural just like any building material, if not treated and exposed to direct sunlight, to transition color over time. Bamboo can eventually turn to a silvery gray color and though is typically light in color anyway; you can stain it to be darker.
• Because bamboo naturally has a protective coating, you will need to sand the bamboo first. Not too deep, but enough to where you notice the difference in texture consistently throughout the bamboo.
• Test the color of your stain on a small area first to ensure a desired coloring.
• Apply the stain with a paintbrush and after a few minutes wipe the excess off with a towel. Anywhere from 2-5 coats of stain should deliver the desired effect. Just monitor the coloring after each application.
• Finally do not forget a sealer to help prolong the color.
Preventing and caring for mold/mildew
All organic building materials, especially woody products, are subject to surface mildew but using a sealant with a strong fungicide will minimize and prevent this occurrence.
There is no doubt that there are an infinite attributes that make bamboo an ideal material for many purposes, but by purchasing bamboo you are not only investing in an economical and durable material but you are also making a conscious decision to support the use of a renewable resource. Join the Green Revolution!