Both Iroko and Oak are rated as being very durable. Our benches can be left outside all year round with periodic cleaning being advised to remove algae and lichen buildup.
Do remember that timber is a natural product and will be affected by rain, sunshine and any pollutants in the atmosphere. The bench when delivered will be at it’s very best and will soon show signs of weathering; this is unavoidable unless you store the bench in your conservatory out of direct sunlight.
In service the weathering process will lead to cracks developing in the timbers, especially in the end grain. This is unavoidable and does not affect the strength or durability. All timbers react in this way and it is particularly obvious in hot and dry conditions.
The very attractive colouration of freshly machined iroko and oak will change to a silvery colour over time. This change of colour may not take place evenly and the bench may appear blotchy.
Please be aware that initially new benches in both iroko and oak will show water-stains after rain. In addition oak will stain patio slabs etc a dark colour after rain; this is called iron stain and is caused by the very high level of tannin present in oak. If this is not acceptable choose an iroko bench.
Treatment of Iroko
In order to minimise the rate at which lichens and algae build up we recommend that the bench be treated with a clear preservative such as Cuprinol Clear Preservative. This will also enhance the life of the bench and allow the bench to weather naturally. Clear preservative will not reduce water staining of the bench after rain.
It is also possible to treat an iroko bench with a stain such as Iroko Protector. This enhances iroko’s natural colouration and in addition partly seals the timber which will reduce the cracking that will occur due to weathering.
The stain we use is a low build water based wood-stain and we have found that it enhances the appearance of the bench without looking false as is the case when using a high build stain.
Please be aware that any stain such as Iroko Protector may require reapplication within a few months to maintain the finish. In order to achieve greater durability of finish you can apply a higher build finish such as Ronseal 5 year Woodstain.
Treatment of Oak
Oak may be treated with a clear preservative with the same advantages as listed above for Iroko timber or it may be oiled using tung oil. See additional information below.
Whilst we take great care in applying any finish we give no guarantee of its durability.