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This site is provided for informational purposes only. The information here is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition, and should not replace the care and attention of qualified medical personnel. Use the information on these pages at your own risk, and, as with any information pertaining to health, nutrition, mental health, or fitness, consult your physician before making any changes that might affect your overall health.

High Altitude Furniture Care

I'm sure this is one of those pages that people will look at and say, "Huh?" and wonder why I put it in here! But we have noticed some differences up here in how we have to care for our furniture.

Mostly, it is a matter of humidity. Furniture tends to dry out more easily up here, and there is not a lot you can do about it!

Furniture that is moved from moister climates to a dryer climate can dry out quite a bit during the first few months. It does actually take a while to completely dry out. When it does, it may develop surface differences, or even split.

Pieced furniture that is made from glued boards may split between the boards. We have had several pieces of furniture do this. Solid boards may split along the wood grain, and either break, or become more fragile.

Log furniture tends to split vertically with the grain, and splits can be deep enough to reach the heartwood in the center of the log. On a 6" log, you may get splits as wide as half an inch. These splits look unsightly, but they don't usually affect the sturdiness of the furniture.

When wood dries out and splits, there really is not anything you can do about it. You may or may not be able to get the damage repaired, depending on what type of damage it is.

Surface affects though can be handled with a good oil polish. Furniture that is showing wear because the original finish was too thin, should either be refinished, or at least regularly treated with a good polish.

Care should be used when cleaning wood furniture, because in a dry climate, you want to avoid repeated use of water and harsh cleaners on the surface. Dust with polish when you can, and scrub as little as necessary.

If furniture survives changes from lower to higher altitudes without splitting during the first several months, or year, then it is not likely to have problems later. Just keep treating it well, and it will last as long as it would anywhere else.

High Altitude Library

Editorial Comments throughout this site written by Laura Wheeler (with occasional sarcastic remarks by her son, David). Laura is a 10 year resident of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, where the altitude is greater than the population. Medicine Bow is at 6200+ ft above sea level, and boasts a total of 297 residents from the last census. Laura is an experienced technical, health and family writer.

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