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ENVIRONMENTALLY SOURCED TIMBER

At Flyte so Fancy we choose our timber with great care. Our housing and stores are constructed from the best quality, slow-grown, Pressure-Treated, Joinery-Grade, Scandinavian Redwood that will last for many years without further preservative treatment. This means our units will last for decades not days.

Our aim is to supply you with a unit that will serve you many years, rather than be an annual purchase, and is built for life outdoors – longevity surely makes it better for the environment, to reduce the amount of timber needed, and also to avoid unnecessary landfill.

The timber is sourced from one mill in Sweden and machined to our own profile - from chainsaw to chicken house. For strength, we only use slow-grown timber and for the environment, we only use timber from well managed and sustainable resources. Our supplier is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Great Britain (FSC). Chain of Supply Certification is available upon request.

 

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What is Pressure Treated (Tanalised) Timber?

For all our Flyte so Fancy timber products we use pressure treated timber to give them a long life outdoors but what, you may ask, is pressure treated timber?

Timber once cut from the tree and sawn, is no longer living and would therefore decompose naturally if not treated with a preservative to give it a longer life. Treating timber with a tanalith preservative (hence usually referred to as ‘Tanalised Timber’) is the best way to protect the timber against decay, so is widely used in garden furniture and other outdoor timber products today. If timber, particularly softwood, isn’t treated it would be attacked by naturally occurring bacteria, fungi, moulds, insects and would therefore start to degrade within a year or so.

‘Pressure Treated’ means the timber has been soaked with a wood preservative in a timber impregnation tank, in a vacuum, to ensure it is forced deep into the timbers. The preservative used for our timber is TANALITH-E, an eco-friendly preserver, which is a water-based wood preservative containing copper and organic biocides. Copper is an excellent protector against insects and rot. The biocides contained in the TANALITH-E brand of wood preserver are supported under the Biocidal Products Regulation. In ‘days of old’ the preserver in tanalised timber used to contain harmful compounds like arsenic, chromium and cadmium. This toxic mix is no longer allowed in the EU thankfully so we can rest assured that today, tanalised timber is safe around all creatures.

When forced under pressure into the timber, the preservative bonds with the wood structure and doesn’t allow it to degrade over time. However, some maintenance is advised to make sure your timber is waterproofed and to ensure longevity (see our Fair Care Warranty).

Tanalith-E Timber carries a 15-year anti-fungal and anti-rot warranty but with proper care and maintenance, it can last outdoors for 30 years or more. This does depend on how the timber is exposed to the weather of course i.e. exposed to wind, rain and cold weather will shorten its life compared to placing in a sheltered garden. Equally, placing it in or on wet ground without a further coating will hasten its degradation.

Pressure-treated timber, when fresh, has a green tinge to it but once outside and exposed to sunlight the green colour weathers down to a nice honey brown colour and eventually becomes a natural silver grey. This weathering process does not mean there is any loss of preservative protection. Timber is, it should be remembered, a variable and natural product and some types of wood can occasionally contain higher resin levels which can give a blue colouration after treatment. However, with weathering, this rapidly fades into the overall colouration of treated timber.

When the treated timber arrives in our yard here in Dorset, we put it in-stick (stacked with sticks between the layers) for several (between 4 and 6) weeks and allow the beautiful Dorset wind to reduce the moisture content before we take it into the workshop to build our timber products. Any cut ends, holes or notches we make are sanded then brushed with an end-grain preservative to maintain the integrity of the preservative protection.

It should always be remembered that timber is from a naturally grown plant and although we work hard to make it do what we want it to do, there are occasions when it misbehaves. If you are at all concerned about any aspects of your unit or need advice, please just get in touch.

How do I care for Pressure Treated Timber?

To protect it against the weather we advise applying a water repellent coating, such as Protek Timber Eco-Shield, which is a microporous, nanotech coating for pressure treated timber. An annual application will provide a long-lasting waterproof coating, it comes in a variety of colours, and will keep your timber looking like new.

Any timber can, and will, swell when wet and shrink when dry. This movement is perfectly natural, it can change dimensions sometimes by centimetres, and you will see natural hairline cracks appear over time. This does not affect the strength or longevity of the timber. Using microporous products allows this movement, helps to seal the timber but still allows it to breathe. Apply paints or stains to timber only when it is as dry as possible and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

TANALITH-E pressure treated timber can be painted or stained as you wish but this is not necessary to maintain its preservative properties. It is perfectly safe to leave treated timber outside without further protection, but we advise you consider annual maintenance.

We recommend that you allow your timber house or store to thoroughly dry outdoors for a couple of weeks after delivery and let it settle into its new home before painting. To test its moisture content try splashing some water on the surface, if it beads it’s not dry enough, if it soaks in then it is dry. Many coatings are available on the market so do check that your selection can be used with pressure treated timber and whether it needs a primer first.

For full details of the timber types, dimensions, fixings and furniture that we use for our housing and stores please see the ‘About our Houses’ page.

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