How to protect wooden barrels
The side of a wooden cask consists of bended wooden planks. In technical terms, these are called "staves". The staves are kept together by metal bands. If a wine cask in oak wood or chestnut is conserved in the appropriate way, it can last quite long. You will be able to enjoy your buy for years, both inside and outside.
Some points of interest to bear in mind:
1) Never let the barrel dry out. The barrels offered by Moens Packaging are coopered in such a way that additional shrinking is kept to a minimum. However, if you let the barrels dry out for a considerable amount of time, there is a chance that the wood might shrink, causing the metal bands to come loose. This can be avoided easily, by keeping the barrel wet (e.g. by keeping the barrel filled with water). When the barrel has dried out and the metal bands have come loose, then the barrel will have to be coopered again. It goes without saying that we can provide this service. You can even appeal to our expertise for barrels that were not bought at Moens Packaging.
2) Take good care of the metal bands. If a band completely rusts away, it will have to be replaced. If several bands rust away, then the barrel will surely collapse. To avoid this, the barrels are fitted with galvanized bands. These bands will not rust as quickly as other bands. If rusty spots were to appear after some years, the bands are best treated with anti-corrosion paint.
3) The wooden wine casks are resistant to frost, even if a small amount of water remains in the barrel during a long period of frosty weather. CAUTION: if pressure is exerted on the bottom of the barrel by ice formation in the entire barrel, and there is no way for the pressure to escape trough the top of the barrel, then the barrel can of course be damaged.
4) If you use the barrel outside the house, then different treatments of the wood are possible:
No treatment: the oak wood or chestnut will turn a shade of grey, caused by weather circumstances.
If you wish to keep the original colour, then we advise you to use the wood stain called "light oak".
If the barrels have turned grey because of weather conditions, but you prefer the original colour of light oak, then this colour can be obtained by using the Cuprinol "hardwood colour renovator". Grey and black colours will be entirely removed and the wood will show its original colour. After this, give the barrel a protective treatment, and it will look as good as new.
5) If you wish to use the barrel for water and other fluids, we advise you to fill it with water first. This gives the staves enough time to swell. The first time you fill the barrel, water might leak trough the staves, but after a while (this might take a few days) the wood will have swollen enough, causing the barrel to be completely leakproof. If this is not the case, you can return the barrel. We will either fix it by coopering it again, or we will replace it by another barrel.
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