How to Maintain a Wood Deck

Over the last few years wooden decks have become more and more popular and are now considered to be an almost essential addition to every residential home with minimum safeguarding and thanks to proper timber treatments and care provide decades of use.

The key point above is the statement – with proper treatment and care! As wood decks are exposed to the harsh elements of the weather and because of severe conditions the wood is prone to shrink and expand accordingly.

Without the appropriate maintenance, wood decks will gradually wear with cracks, raised grain and mildew quickly accelerating the rate of decay and insect attack.

Wood Deck Care

Common Wood Deck Problems:

Because of the obvious risk of deterioration by being outside in the weather the timber used in decks is regularly pressure treated with a preservative. The timber used for decking is also a naturally durable wood such as redwood or western red cedar.

Applying a supplementary finish to wood decks will reduce the problems of cracking, raised grain, and mildew growth. A penetrating finish applied to wood decks gives improved overall performance and is easier to re-apply than a film-forming finish (e.g., paint, solid-color stain). Besides the incessant shrinking and swelling of the wood caused by changes in the humidity content, film-forming finishes are subjected to excessive wear, more than ever in high-traffic areas. For these reasons, penetrating finishes, not film-forming finishes, are the more preferable option to be used on wood decks.

Wood Deck Care:

The dazzling shade of the wood on weathered decks can be restored by applying a variety of commercial products. These commercial products are called deck cleaners, brighteners, or restorers. These products do not put color into the deck but they do take away mildew and filth, allowing the natural color of the wood to be highlighted.

If all the natural color has been leached from the facade, the wood will appear silver gray following a clean up. These business-cleaning products may eliminate the weathered wood surface; as a result, care should be exercised to avoid damaging the surface of the wood. Violent scrubbing with a caustic cleaner can eradicate wood from the surface, for the most part on softer wood such as western red cedar. Mildew can also be removed using liquid domestic bleach. Adulterate the bleach with 3 parts water and put in some detergent.

However despite the fact that wood decks do need proper care and maintenance they make a welcome addition to any home. Properly cared for they look great and can actually increase the value of your property and there is no better place then a wood deck to sit back and relax with a cuppa and a good book. Even more so if you are fortunate enough to have a nice view as well.

Wood Deck Staining

Believe it or not one of the biggest problems with deck staining is caused by the over application of the coating. Most Do-it-yourselfers and even some painting contractors make the mistake of believing that by putting more coating on that the end result will be better. Sadly many of them find out too late that this is just not so and can actually cause havoc for decks.

Most deck staining products are designed to actually penetrate the surface of the timber and so by putting too much of the staining product on can result in a deck surface that is overly waxy, sticky or slippery. The over application of stains causes the coating to build up and interferes with the ability of the stain to dry properly.  Check Choosing The Perfect Deck Stain

Clear Coatings can be applied by a variety of methods including brush, spray, roller and pad. Brushing is considered to be the best technique for detailed work such as spindles and railings. But, for large horizontal deck surfaces, spray application is the quickest and easiest way to go. The spray application evens out the finish and eliminates drips and lap marks. Pads are also well suited to coat decks. Individual boards should be coated along their entire length to prevent lap marking. Paint rollers are more suitable for applying siding finishes than for deck coatings and they can be used successfully to apply clear finishes and water repellents to decks. As for most exterior coatings it is vital that deck finishes be applied under proper weather conditions.

Wood Deck Stain Application Guidelines

Before use, mix all cans together to insure you have a uniform color. Even if you are using a standard factory mixed color you should not eliminate this step. You need to be assured that you are starting out with the same color and even factory mixed colors can vary from batch to batch. By adding new material at intervals like this any small color differences will not be noticed if there is a small difference in color between batches. Before applying stain, test on a sample piece of wood from your deck or in an out of the way place, to verify the color and look you want. The wood coating should saturate all checks or splits. All exposed ends should be coated several times until all wood pores are saturated.

One-Time Deck Stain

Staining or deck coating is not permanent and it is possible that after some days, these stains get old and start peeling off. In such cases, it becomes necessary that the deck must be stained with new stainers. One-time deck stain remover is a product which removes other old sealers, coatings, deck stains, etc. The stain removes these materials and cleanses the deck in the best ways. Proper preparation of the wood surface is necessary for effective use of One-time deck stain. One-time deck stain removes past applications of stain, sealer, and coatings. It also soaks into the wood and when cured by sunlight and will last as long as 7 years. The product is considered to be a leader in the wood protection industry.

Care and Maintenance

Stained wood surfaces may need to be retreated every 2-3 years or earlier depending on weather exposure. A close inspection of treated surfaces should be done annually.

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