Wood is a popular construction material due to its durability, flexibility, and availability. However, wood also has a number of disadvantages that should be considered before using it for your next project. One of the biggest disadvantages of wood is its susceptibility to rot and insects. If not properly sealed or treated, wood can be damaged by water and pests relatively easily. Wood also tends to fade and discolor over time when exposed to sunlight and other elements, which can impact the aesthetic of your project. Finally, wood is a relatively heavy material, which can make transportation and installation more difficult than with lighter options such as aluminum or plastic.
Shrinkage and Swelling of Wood: Wood is a hygroscopic material
Wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning that it absorbs and retains moisture from the air. This can lead to shrinkage and swelling of the wood, which can in turn cause warping, cracking, and other damage.
When wood absorbs moisture, the cells expand and the wood swells. When the cells lose moisture, they contract and the wood shrinks. This repeated expansion and contraction can eventually cause cracks or splits in the wood. In addition, when one side of the wood expands more than the other side (due to different rates of moisture absorption), it can cause warping or cupping.
Swollen or warped boards are often difficult to work with and can create problems when trying to fit them into place during construction. Cracks or splits in the wood can also create openings for pests or allow water to enter, which could lead to rot or further damage.
Wood easily catches fire
Wood is one of the most flammable materials known to man. It easily catches fire and burns quickly, making it a major hazard in the home.
A fire in the home is one of the most feared disasters that can happen. It is also one of the most preventable. Every year, thousands of house fires are started by careless use of wood-burning stoves and other heating devices. Wood-burning stoves should be properly used and maintained to prevent fires.
Another way that wood can cause a fire in the home is by being left too close to an open flame. This is especially true for items made of pine or other soft woods, which can ignite easily and burn rapidly. Always keep wood at least three feet away from any open flame, such as a candle or fireplace.
In addition to being a fire hazard, wood is also notoriously difficult to clean up after a fire has been put out. Smoke and soot will quickly discolor walls and ceilings, while water from firefighters’ hoses can cause warping and swelling. Homeowners should be prepared for extensive cleanup after a fire by having plenty of cleaning supplies on hand, including rags, sponges, buckets, mild detergent, heavy-duty gloves, face masks and eye protection gear.