Every carving comes with one coat of water seal and two coats of spar varnish. In order to keep your new carving in top shape, a yearly re-application of spar varnish is suggested, if the carving is in direct sunlight then an extra annual coat of varnish is suggested. You can stop applying the varnish after water no longer ‘beads’ on the carving.
If possible, it is best to place the carving with at least ¾ inches (2 cm) of clearance from solid ground. This will help prevent any softening or decaying of the carving and will help in maintaining a long and fulfilling life for your new family member.
The important thing to remember is that the carvings are made of wood and that wood can have a mind of its own. While I cannot guarantee a complete halt to splitting or cracking, these simple tips will help keep a smile on the carving’s face as well as your own!