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Adios

Dec 8, 2013, 12:45 PM

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Wooden beam maintenace

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One week into our new home and I am looking around for things that need to be fixed - particularly those I should be able to address myself. We have lots of wooden beams They run from the interior, through the walls, to the exterior. The exterior beams looked dried out.

1.) In english and spanish - what would you call these beams ?
2.) Are these an easy DIY repair candidate ? Is it a simple matter of a paint brush and a can of shelac ?
3.) Do I need to prep (sand) first ? etc

Any suggestions appreciated :-)



rvgringo

Dec 8, 2013, 2:44 PM

Post #2 of 13 (30095 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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The exterior ends will weather and be subject to insects, so you might treat them with a preservative. The part that goes through the wall may eventually rot and fail; not much you can do about that at this point. Good news is that it may take 50 years. Then, it is time to replace the beam; maybe with a heavily treated one for the next 50 years. We have a couple like that and have been ignoring them for the last 12 years without any failure yet.


CozICan

Dec 8, 2013, 3:32 PM

Post #3 of 13 (30089 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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In Spanish the beams are called Vigas.

Sorry, can't tell you how they should be maintained but I know some of the old buildings in Merida that have these beams are probably a couple of hundred years old. I would think if you live near the ocean like I do on Cozumel that they would rot out much faster. Also some of the wood used many years ago were much more resistant to weather.


Adios

Dec 8, 2013, 3:35 PM

Post #4 of 13 (30087 views)

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Re: [rvgringo] Wooden beam maintenace

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Gracias - in 50 years I'm sure I will be in much worse shape than those beams :-)

So is it just a matter of re-farnishing those external tips/ends at this point ? Just paint over what is there or strip it all down to bare wood first ?


rvgringo

Dec 8, 2013, 3:42 PM

Post #5 of 13 (30084 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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You could do that, with the use of filler for any voids. Just do the cosmetics and then keep an eye on them. If one starts to sag at the point where it enters the interior wall, the end is shot and it is time to replace the viga. Any good carpenter can do that for you.


Yacatecuhtli


Dec 8, 2013, 4:26 PM

Post #6 of 13 (30079 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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maybe this would be helpful for you....

http://www.actitudfem.com/...madera-mantenimiento


! Al pan, pan y al vino, vino !

(This post was edited by Rolly on Dec 8, 2013, 6:01 PM)


sparks


Dec 8, 2013, 5:37 PM

Post #7 of 13 (30065 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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Whatever the wood is ... it must be hardwood and durable. I would use a preservative that will be absorbed in dry wood. Later worry about varnish or the way it looks

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre


chinagringo


Dec 8, 2013, 5:52 PM

Post #8 of 13 (30062 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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When considering maintenance of vigas in Mexico, I think you have to consider the fact that many vigas in Mexico were probably installed while the timbers were still green? Depending on the number of years since they were first installed, you may still be dealing with the wood still in the drying/curing process? I did a good deal of research on this when planning the use of vigas on a new home here in New Mexico with a climate that tends to turn the ends into an ugly mess. It is my opinion that you want to refrain from using shellacs, varnishes or polyurethane finishes that tend to seal the wood and not allow it to breath. You might want to consider doing a Google search for "log home protection" and read up on the various recommendations for wood treatment? Most of the treatments that I was satisfied with tended to be oil based.

One common option here in the high desert of New Mexico is that they cap the ends of the vigas with either a galvanized metal or copper cover after treating the wood.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Dec 8, 2013, 5:59 PM)


Adios

Dec 11, 2013, 11:58 AM

Post #9 of 13 (29993 views)

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Re: [sparks] Wooden beam maintenace

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So our vigas are rectangular mosty 4 x 10 wood, with sort of swirly carved ends. They are mostly varnished already. They are probably 8-9 years old and have had at least some maintenance over the years. There is evidence of some wood filler.

I went to home depot and the guy said use Thompson's Water seal. I called Thompson's and the guy said - definately not - can not use their stuff on already varnished wood.

Quess I need to find a local source for bulk varnish.


stevebrtx

Dec 11, 2013, 1:15 PM

Post #10 of 13 (29986 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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It's been some years now, but I used Thompson's once, and only once, left some and a brush in a can and later pulled out the brush and it was covered with a sticky wax, at first I was puzzled until I remembered. In doing some checking I was told that (at least at that time) it was nothing but paraffin in a solvent thinner. And, it didn't last a year. I went to CWF after that for many years, but I've not seen it down here at Home Depot.
http://www.chapalaweather.net


Bennie García

Dec 11, 2013, 1:17 PM

Post #11 of 13 (29985 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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If the exterior ends of the beams are located beneath an overhang and aren't exposed to the rain then there is no need to use something like Thompson's. Unless they are getting hit by direct sunlight they also don't need much maintenance. If they've been there for 8-9 years the splitting at the ends is over with. As far as maintenance on the interior beams, they shouldn't need much of anything. Unless esthetically you aren't happy with their appearance. Then coat them with the finish of your choice.


Azuledos


Dec 12, 2013, 9:37 AM

Post #12 of 13 (29949 views)

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Re: [charlie131120] Wooden beam maintenace

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Back NoB I learned to use CWF, after becoming dissatisifed with Thompson's WaterSeal. I learned then that TWS is nothing but wax and solvent, doesn't provide much penetration or lasting protection, and applying it means that other coatings applied over it will not stick. But If you don't mind doing it year after year, TWS is OK I guess, if repelling water is all you need. Note that Home Depot here in Mexico now sells it, with a choice of admixed stains.

I have also learned not to apply any varnish on outdoor wood. Exposed to rain or sun they never last, and have to be stripped and reapplied more often that I care to.

Our house had damaged exterior wood, and I have described our repairs (involving replacing beam ends and roof sheathing) in a recent illustrated blog post http://azuledos.blogspot.mx/...roofs-overhangs.html.

================================
Veracruz has to be the best kept secret in Mexico.
http://etepetzin.blogspot.com -&- http://azuledos.blogspot.com


stevebrtx

Dec 12, 2013, 10:24 AM

Post #13 of 13 (29943 views)

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Re: [Azuledos] Wooden beam maintenace

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I have to admit to being a bit "disappointed" at seeing my former house in TX that I designed - and built all the decks etc. (and much more) last Sept. The current owners have chosen to coat the decks with the red "barn stain" that looks terrible, here is a pic of how I left it in 2007, now imagine it just dull red barn stain.
http://360west.com/images/IMG_1031.JPG

http://www.chapalaweather.net
 
 
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