1. For natural preservation purposes
The very first thing that the Japanese artisans noticed many centuries back, was that proper exposure of cypress planks to fire acted as a preservative which did many different things.
Yakisugi wood charring prevents rotting
For starters, Yakisugi was used to prevent rot. You see, the charring of wood forces every single hemi-cellulose carbohydrate molecule to evaporate. Why that matters you may ask? Well, mainly because cellulose carbohydrates are a very attractive “dining” option for insects and various pests. If the piece of timber has no “food” left for the parasite then they should not be a problem. This leaves Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood) preserved from the wrath of living nature.
Shou Sugi Ban – a natural way to protect wood
If the wood is not preserved and processed in a way which protects it from parasites, well then it is going to have a much shorter lifespan. Preservation is a great way to add longevity to timber. However, it sometimes comes at the expense of sustainability and is unnatural. Artificial (sometimes even dangerous) chemicals are added to timber in order to preserve it. Our wood charring process involves no such materials. We only use hybrid water-based oils or per the request of our clients – natural oil to treat every plank.
This way we ensure that the product is sustainable, friendly to the environment and also – well-protected from quite a few hazards.
2. To waterproof the wood (but also make it breathable)
Yet another feature that distinguishes burnt wood from regular timber is its immense waterproofing. As you may or may not know, regular wood absorbs a ton of moisture from the air and ground. That water is essential for the livelihood of a living tree. However, once wood becomes a constructional material, that high absorption ratio poses a problem. If any piece of wooden exterior or the interior is prone to soak up moisture – it creates the perfect conditions for rotting, mould and moss, even.
This is definitely not something you want in a house or any building, for that matter. Luckily, the Japanese wood carbonising technology that we use – Yakisugi is also great if you wish to waterproof any piece of timber.
This is how timber becomes waterproof
How is that possible you wonder? All thanks to fire, of course. The burning flames force the many pores which are on the surface of planks to shrink and close. This is crucial in making wood waterproof because those very same pores are usually the initial and chief element that accumulates the moisture. Hence, if pores are shrunk and closed to the point where they cannot contain any more water, than those arising threats which we mentioned earlier are not threats at all.
Waterproof, yet breathable
With that being said, we have to also point out that even though wood charring does make timber waterproof, this Japanese preservation technique is also very sustainable and healthy option. That is so because in addition to turning waterproof, burnt wood also remains breathable to ensure the best living conditions and most natural appeal.
3. To improve how it looks
Most technological advancements, especially in the construction or architectural businesses are focused merely on numbers and technical characteristics. They aren’t concerned as much with the beauty and aesthetics of certain products. If you are slightly disappointed by most modern trends in architecture and interior or exterior décor, then a beautiful piece of charred wood is the breath of fresh air you so very much sought.
Timeless class and beauty
As a technology that has its roots set centuries back before our time, Japanese charring of wood also adds a great deal in terms of aesthetics. Carbonised timber walling, decking, fences and floors are desirable all over the world not just because they are refined and exotic. They are also held in high regard because they are beautiful to look at. Once processed, timber pieces are treated with oil and all roughness is smoothed out.
Enhanced colour and distinguished identity
What wood charring also does – it enhances the colours, patterns, lines and tones that timber has to offer. Every tree is unique, and thus once you expose what is under the bark, no two pieces look alike. Just like the identity of a person, the tree also has an identity. Yakisugi helps express that by bolding and improving the nuances and accents on timber. In a natural way, too.
The beauty that is invigorating and relaxing at the same time is quite difficult to find. Shou Sugi Ban is just that. This technology combines practicality with historic values and beauty. This is where state of the art tools and engineering savoir faire meets time-tested tradition all the way from Japan. Somewhere in the middle – the beautiful charred wood products from Degmeda are born.
4. For an overall upgrade in durability
Fireproofing for more safety
And the final quality and trait we would like to point out that charring of wood has is the wholesome and versatile boost in durability. When it comes to buildings and their exteriors as well as interiors, wood is pretty resilient and tough. It has its downsides sure, but Yakisugi eliminates pretty much all of them.
What has a lot of homeowners worrying about wooden homes and wooden décor is its combustibility. However, this treatment process leaves it very retardant. Where regular planks might burst into flames, charred wood is much better protected from fire and thus can be called a much safer construction material. It does not eliminate the threat of fire entirely, but it sure gets a lot better results than regular dry timber.
Centuries of longevity
For more than a few centuries, wood preservation technology called Yakisugi was very popular in Japanese housebuilding. However, somewhere in the middle of the 20th century, the technology faded away for a while, making way for cheaper, more modern options.
As time has shown, centuries old, Shou Sugi Ban charred wood homes withstood the test of time much better than some examples built in the middle of last century. This is a real-life example of how durable and versatile this technology really is. The world has slowly welcomed charring of wood back and it is slowly becoming more popular all over the globe. Architects, developers and individual customers are looking for something authentic, beautiful and practical. These are the exact qualities that charred wood can offer.