frequently asked questions

Thermal modification is a specialized process where wood is heated (using steam) to a very high temperature to transform it on a molecular level into a highly-durable outdoor material. Thermal Modification turns the wood to a beautiful chocolate brown color, which indicates that the wood has reached the proper temperature (around 400-410⁰ F). At that point, the wood undergoes a fundamental change where the sugars and starches caramelize, making the wood a non-food source. Also, the wood cell walls lock into place, preventing the wood from absorbing water like that of unmodified wood. Overall, the durability of the wood is multiplied many times, giving Thermally Modified wood a 25+ year lifespan outdoors without chemicals or anything else manmade.
The primary purpose of Thermal Modification is durability (resistance to rot, increased lifespan, resistance to insect damage). Thermal Modification gives the wood Class 1 durability (25+ years).
No. The only ingredients are heat, steam and time (approx. 28 - 30 hours).
No. Americana hardwoods are thermally modified to withstand outdoor climates and weather. The only ingredients used to modify the wood for outdoor use are heat, steam and time.
Thermal modification turns the wood a beautiful, deep brown color. Like all natural wood outdoors, Americana™ will naturally silver over time if allowed to do so, but this can be prevented with some simple steps. Call us, message us, or check out our Technical Info page.
It's pretty easy. We recommend a couple different options to maintain or alter the color of Americana™ using UV inhibitors. Check out our Technical Info page...or give us a call / drop us a message.
Yes, and Americana offers FSC certified wood.
25+ years.
Like all wood, Americana boards will develop minor checks and cracks as the wood absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This will occur within the first few months of installation until the wood’s Equilibrium Moisture Content is reached. After that many checks and cracks will close over time. Regular re-application of wood protecting oil like Cutek can help this self-healing process along.
We recommend the application of a penetrating UV protectant, Cutek Extreme, with re-application every 6-months for the first couple of years.
Please take a look at our Comparision PDF.
Americana Hardwood will “season”, adapting to its environment. Without UV protectant, the wood will lighten and eventually turn silver (in approx. 6 - 12 months). Expect to see superficial checking, occasional cracks (usually near the ends of the boards). Note that neither checking or cracking indicate product failure, these are natural adaptations common to all natural woods.
Yes, Americana Hardwoods require pre-drilling for screws/nails. Use stainless steel fasteners only.
Deck boards require a minimum of 3/16” spacing and must be installed no less than 8” above the ground.
Americana Hardwood products are made to be relatively maintenance-free. Other than the occasional cleaning (every 6 - 12 months), the wood can be allowed to “silver” naturally.
YES! We highly recommend using stainless steel nails/screws for your Americana™ Projects. Stainless steel will not oxidize or rust over time, which means you don’t have to worry about the potential for unpleasant stains appearing on your Americana deck, siding or porch floor.