Taking small measures enhance the longevity and utility of the wooden furniture and more attention is needed during the rainy season and winter, writes T Lalith Singh

Checking around the home, one finds the entire place dotted with wooden furniture. From sofa sets, dining table and chairs to cots, the presence of timber is hard to ignore in our lives.

Not only the wooden furniture ensures better comfort but also add a dash of elegance. Most of the time, it also comes across as a style statement by way of choice as to whether it gleams with a touch of modernity or appeals with a streak of antique. It is not only residences, but same holds good for the office and commercial spaces where the timber presence is used to extend certain warmth.

But the question happens to be as to how much time is spent on their maintenance? In most cases, one picks up the best of the piece whether it is a sofa, cot or even TV stand or wardrobe coverings, but once in place, they are left without much care. Occasional cleaning or a dab is all it gets and lost is the fact that the furniture demands some attention and care.

Do care for small measures not only enhance the longevity and utility of the wooden furniture but also keeps it new and retains the look. And more attention is needed during the rainy season and winter.

What usually dampen the spirits of wooden furniture? Experts point an accusing finger at moisture and describe it as the main villain in affecting the timber. Based on the moisture levels, the wooden furniture tends to swell and shrink as most have noticed with doors and window shutters refusing to settle in. It is also pointed out that low moisture levels end up affecting the timber quality by way of splitting or cracking.

If at all, one is looking at the possibility of polishing or painting the furniture to restore them, it is better to avoid the monsoon season. At the same time, direct and excessive exposure to sunlight can also come to harm the wood and the veneer.

Allowed to stay in harsh sunlight for long hours and over a period not only affect the finish but even the colour also stand the risk of fading. Best way is to throw a protective screen over them and use either blinds or shades on the windows to prevent direct exposure.

Before acquiring a piece of wooden furniture, some time spent with experts at the store will help in deciding the finish type, whether it is polyurethane or natural oil. Acquiring tips on better preservation and care of the particular piece also helps.

Two basics to follow in case of timber care is cleaning at regular intervals and polishing them as required. To clean, take a soft lint free cotton cloth, dampen it with water or furniture polish and avoid dry piece of cloth since it could end up scratching the surface. It is also suggested that strong detergents and chemicals need to be avoided.