Using wood to frame windows has been a tradition for several years. The wood types used are mainly softwood or hardwood home extensions. Although the density of the wood is implied in the name, not all wood that is hard is referred to as hardwood. The opposite is also true; wood commonly called softwood is not soft all the time. In general terms, however, softwood is less dense compared to hardwood. Hardwood windows have been known to last longer than softwood windows for reasons such as.
The oil contained in hardwood makes it difficult for it to decay. This is because oil prevents water from entering the wood. Softwoods decay easily when they come into contact with water because they do not have such oils.
The oil in hardwood protects them from insect attacks. Those that may be attacked by such insects can be protected by easily applying a coat of oil. Unlike hardwood, softwood requires several layers of paint because of their poor ability to hold it.
Since softwood generally has less density, they do not hold joinery material well. This means that connection points loosen easily. Since these have to be re-tightened over again, the wood easily chips off. Being dense and packed with oil, hardwood dos not chip easily.
Softwood expands and contracts easily because of the effects of the weather and therefore cracks easily. The compact nature of most hardwood types makes them resistant to weather changes.
Teak is one example of hardwood that is excellent for window frames. Teak that is oiled can last between twenty to forty years and up to well over a hundred years when oiled regularly. A single coat of oil is sufficient. Teak does not need to be covered even during the winter months. Softwood on the other hand lasts only a few years if left untreated. When treated, they can last between fifteen to twenty years. Softwood can be treated by sealing with wood stain or painting. Painting, however, makes it rot faster. This happens when moisture absorbed by the wood does dry properly because it is covered by paint.
Although hardwood is very expensive- sometimes up to five times the price of softwood, it is well worth the cost. The ability to resist the adverse effects of the weather ensures that hardwood lasts longer than softwood, which is more susceptible to weather.
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