There are many types of woods, some are very light, others are very hard and there are also some woods with great water resistance. Enough time to be submerged.

However, this has nuances. The water will end up affecting the woodIt may take years for this wood to be truly deteriorated by the action of water, but it will be.

Within these types of water resistant woods, we find at least two degrees. On the one hand, those who are simply going to be outdoors and must endure what being outdoors implies: temperature changes and especially rain. On the other hand, those who will be submerged or in continuous contact. The latter must resist not only water, but also saltpeter and the action of marine animals such as insects, crustaceans and mollusks.

In the first group, we think of the woods used to make outdoor furniture, platforms, pergolas, porches, etc. According to UNE EN 335-1: 2007, we would be in a “Use class 3”That is, outside and in occasional or frequent contact with water.

In the second case, piers, posts in very humid areas such as rivers or lakes, boats, etc. Here we would be at “Usage classes 4 and 5”. That is, in continuous contact with water.

Some of the species that we can consider suitable for these uses are:

  • Teak. It is one of the preferred species for the manufacture of boats and decks.
  • Iroko. Wood with benefits similar to teak, but cheaper.
  • Elm. With that, poles are built that remain submerged for years.
  • Doussie or Vitacola. Wood similar in many ways to teak, although it is more complex to work with.
  • Ipe.
  • Cedar. A relatively light wood, especially if we compare it with some of those present in this list, and known for its excellent performance outdoors. Even so, pre-treatment is always recommended.
  • Sequoia.
  • Guayacan. It is a species native to Latin America.

Are there water and moisture resistant boards?

Currently, there is a wide variety of plates on the market. Many of them are derived from wood with which it is possible to improve some of its properties.

If what we are looking for is waterproof solutions we can forget the chipboard and mdf panels. Including water repellents. The latter have improved performance in relation to humidity, but are far from being water resistant. One rainy day will be enough for them to start to swell. Just read the manufacturer’s specifications. They all make it clear that they are “interior products”.

However, there are other types of waterproof boards. Phenolic, plywood and compact panels. They are manufactured with phenolic glues, a component that makes them suitable for outdoor use.

Treatments to improve water resistance

Although we choose wood species resistant to the weather, it is always advisable to apply some treatment and / or acquire the treated wood. This will increase its useful life.

Some of the possible surface treatments are:

There are also deeper treatments, which can even alter the composition of the wood to make it more resistant to moisture.

  • Acetylation of wood. Process by which the cellular composition of the wood is changed to reduce its water absorption capacity.
  • Heat treatment. Heat treatment that alters some characteristics of the wood.
  • Autoclave treatments. It consists of subjecting the wood to pressure and vacuum cycles so that the treatment deepens.