Important Facts About Natural Wood Products
What to Expect from Natural Wood Products
Many Nature Explore field-tested components are made of natural materials that bring children in close contact with the beautiful patterns and colors of nature. In the resources created from wood, you will notice graining, knots, checking (a natural cracking process that occurs as wood releases moisture across the annual growth rings), and in rare instances, insects. Additionally, unfinished wood will naturally develop a beautiful silvery-gray patina over time. These are not defects in the products, but natural processes that are to be expected.
Below are some examples of what you may encounter with your natural wood products:
Extending the Life of your Natural Wood Products
Nature Explore items such as Tree Cookies, Natural Balance Beams, Marimbas, At-Ease Benches, etc. are natural, untreated wood products are require regularly scheduled, routine maintenance in order to maintain safety and extend the life of the item. Some items will arrive with an initial coat of sealant while others are left untreated (please refer to product overview & specifications). It is our recommendation that you apply an initial sealant and maintain a schedule of reapplication annually to biannually to extend the life of your product. When considering treatment options we advise seeking the expertise of local wood workers, lumber yards, general contractors, etc. to understand which options are most effective and safe for your area. Routine sanding of the tops, sides and interior (if applicable) surfaces of the item will minimize splinters, reduce the chance of mildew and extend the life of your product. As your natural wood product becomes acclimated to your local environment, and sometimes even occurring in the transit process, a mildew discoloration will appear. You can reduce the risk of continued mildewing by making sure your item is installed on a surface with adequate drainage such as mulch or gravel. Installing or placement directly on grass surfaces is not recommended as it allows moisture to be trapped underneath.