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Deck Coating

Do You Need Wood Deck Coating? Why It’s Essential

How do you choose the best wood deck coating? Here’s all the information you need to know.

A wooden deck in your garden can add a whole new level of polish to the area. It’s always great to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the outdoors or entertain friends. Like everywhere else in your home though, you’ll need to take good care of it if you want it to last.

Here’s why you’ll need to coat your wood deck, and how to find the best coating for your needs.

Why Wood Deck Coating Is Essential

Firstly, let’s look at why you need that wood deck coating. If you install a stone or slab patio in your yard, then that won’t need to be coated. A wooden deck, on the other hand, is going to need some more care.

Wood will be vulnerable to the elements, as well as any pests, like termites, that want to attack it. When you have a deck built, the wood used should have been pressure treated to ensure it will last for a long time. However, you’ll need to do more than that to protect the deck when you’re using it.

A good coating will seal a deck up against water, one of its main enemies. When water can’t get into the wood, you’ll see that it can’t get damaged by mold or fungal issues. That prevents the wood from splitting and cracking, keeping the finish looking good. It also makes it safer, as rotting wood will be unsafe to walk on.

As such, you’ll want to find a wood deck coating that suits your needs. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there.

Picking The Right Wood Deck Coating

How do you know which coating is right for you? Firstly, you’ll need to know what’s out there. There are three main types of coating that you can choose from.

Paint: This is an opaque sealant, that lets you add color to the wood itself. This sits on top of the wood and creates a seal.

Stain: Rather than changing the look of the wood, a stain will create a new tone in the wood’s color. It will sink into the wood and protect it.

Oil or clear preserver: This is something that you’ll want to use if you want a more natural look for your wood deck.

Which one should you choose for your deck? It all depends on the finish and level of protection that you want for your deck. The look of the deck will have the main deciding factor. If you want it to stand out, painting it with a deck paint will get what you want. If you want to keep the grain of the wood, then staining will be your best bet. 

You’ll also want to think about the upkeep of the sealant, too. Typically, paint will need more upkeep as it sits on top of the wood, so it’s liable to flaking off. As stains and oils sink into it, they’ll need redoing less often. 

All are reliable options for your wood deck though, so once you pick one you’ll be ready to apply it.

Tips For Sealing Your Wood Deck 

Now you’ve picked a sealant product, you want to ensure it’s properly applied. That way, you won’t have to worry about it needing to be redone before you’re ready to come back to it. You’ll also ensure that you’ll get the proper level of protection for it.

Pick the right time to seal your deck: Sealing your deck is all about picking the right time. If you seal it at the wrong time, you won’t get the best results. Luckily, it’s not too hard to pick the right moment for you. Firstly, you’ll need to give your deck 30 days after being installed before you can seal it. This will let it dry out, so you can properly seal it. You can test this by pouring some water on the deck. If it beads up, then you’ll need a few more days until it’s ready. 

You’ll also want the right weather to seal your deck. Wait for a run of dry days, so you can seal it without the rain getting into your deck.

Check for broken wood and other issues: Now you want to check for any issues that would get in the way of you sealing the deck. For example, if you find any broken boards, replace them before you get started. You’ll also want to look for mold or signs of pests such as termites. Deal with these issues first, so you don’t undo all your hard work in sealing the deck.

Wash the deck down: Before you can seal it, the deck needs to be fully washed down. Sweep it down, and then wash it with a power washer to clean it off. Let that dry for 24 hours, so it’s fully dry. Then use sandpaper to sand the surface, which removes any barriers to the sealant you’ll use. This is especially important when you’re resealing a deck, as you’ll want to remove any previous sealant before you put more on.

Apply your sealant: Now you’re ready to apply the sealant to the deck. You can use a paintbrush or roller for the job, or even use a paint sprayer. Work from one corner and go slowly, to ensure that every part of the deck is covered.

Typically, you’ll only need one coat of sealant. Any more than that and the sealant could start chipping or flaking off. If you do need a second coat though, wait at least 24 hours between coats so you can be sure that it’ll stay in good condition. 

Stay off the deck: Finally, you’ll want to stay off the deck for at least 48 hours. This gives the sealant enough time to cure before you can start moving furniture back on it and using it. If you do this though, you should get a year of strong protection from it.

Conclusion

Now you know just why sealing your deck is so important. Seal it now, and you’ll stop a lot of common deck issues in their tracks.

 

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Deck Deck Accessories

Choosing The Right Deck Drainage System (And The Mistakes To Avoid)

It’s crucial to find the right deck drainage system and be aware of the common mistakes to avoid. Read all the details here.

Having a deck installed is a great way to use your outdoor space. It allows for a relaxing space right outside your home, where you can enjoy a coffee in the morning or sunbathe in the summer. If you’re going to install a deck, you need to have a good deck drainage system installed with it.

You’ll want to avoid your decking getting waterlogged, as that will affect the wood and lifespan of it overall. That’s why you have your choice of drainage systems, that will direct water away to the ground.

Here are the options that are available to you, and the mistakes to avoid when doing so.

Pick The Right Drainage System

When it comes to decking, you have two main options: under or over joist drainage. They both have their benefits and downsides, so let’s look at them both.

Under joist drainage: These systems are designed to let water trickle through the slats on the deck, and then run away from the deck. It’s a good idea in theory, but the biggest problem is that eventually, the wood will rot from being allowed to get wet. It can also trap in moisture, which isn’t ideal. Eventually, the wood will rot and break down.

Over joist drainage: These systems are designed to catch any water before it comes into contact with the joists. It’s designed to avoid the issues of wood rot, allowing water to escape before it ever comes in contact with the wood.

These are the basics when it comes to deck drainage, but there will be more things you need to consider when installing yours.

Install At The Right Time

The best time to install a drainage system is when you’re installing the deck itself. It’s best if it’s in place right away, as that will allow it to work draining water as soon as you need it to. If you’re considering having a new deck installed, make sure that you’re budgeting to have a drainage system placed in too. It’s much harder to have one installed after the fact, and the wood in the deck will suffer water damage until you do so.

DIY Or Expert Installation?

This is the first thing you need to consider when thinking about drainage. If you’re going to have a system installed, should you call in an expert, or can you do it yourself? There’s plenty of pieces online showing you how to install drainage, but it’s usually better to have an expert do it for you.

A drainage system is a complex piece of equipment to install, even for a very experienced DIY enthusiast. While you may do a decent job of it, you really need an expert to handle it for you. After all, if anything goes wrong then the wood in your deck is going to suffer.

There’s safety to think of as well. Dealing with decking does come with certain risks, and you don’t want to compromise your safety. The experts will have installed hundreds of decking drainage systems, so they know how to do it while reducing the risk for everyone.

Finally, you’re hopefully having an expert help you with your decking installation. As they’re already doing the installation, you should be able to have them install the drainage system for you as part of that. Any good expert will recommend this to you in the process, to improve the longevity of the finished product.

Pick The Right Drainage System

There is a lot of variation between drainage systems, so you need to make sure that you’re using the right one for your deck. For example, choose a system with round or V-shaped channels, as this will allow them to still allow water through, even if debris gets knocked in.

Also, ensure that your drainage is directing water away down natural slopes in your yard. That should allow water to move away from your home, and stop it pooling. Make sure there are multiple drainage channels too, so water can run away at multiple points along the deck as well.

When choosing a drainage system, take the amount of rain and snow you get into consideration. If you get a lot of rain, you’ll need a drainage system that’s designed to handle heavier water flow. Without it, you’ll not get the same results, and there could be overflow.

Finally, find a system that will last. Getting decking drainage isn’t cheap, and it’s very tempting to pick the cheapest option to save money. However, you need something that’s good quality, to ensure that it will last for a long time. You don’t want the drainage system to fail before the deck is ready to be replaced.

Prepare Your Deck For Rainy Weather 

You should be looking to protect your deck from wet weather, and having a drainage system installed is part of that. You will need to do some other maintenance on the deck too though, to ensure that water can’t enter the wood and cause problems.

For example, you need to be regularly cleaning your deck. This most typically should be sweeping, to remove any debris. Also, check your deck to see if it’s fully sealed. Drop a few drops of water onto the wood, and see if it beads. If it soaks in instead, you’ll need to reseal the wood to make it water resistant.

If you ever see any problems with the deck, such as rotting wood, then it’s a good idea to call in the experts to correct the problem. They can replace parts of the wood to stop the spread of rot, and get it into top condition ready for wet weather.

Conclusion

As you can see, a good quality decking drainage system is essential. It helps keep your deck dry, and avoids rot and mold damage that comes with water. Have an expert install a good quality drainage system for you. They’ll be able to help you pick a good one that will last a long time.

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Deck Coating Deck Water Proofing

The Dos And Don’ts Of Sealing A Deck

Are you aware of the proper process of sealing a deck? In order to make your deck look outstanding for the upcoming outdoor summer plans, read below for what you need to know.

Your deck is the best place to relax and enjoy the good weather during the summer. If you want to get the most out of it though, you need to take good care of it. There is so much information floating around about deck care though, you don’t even know where to start. Here are some dos and don’ts of sealing a deck, so you know where to get started.

Do Seal Your Deck At The Right Time

Timing is key when sealing your deck. You need to ensure you’re applying product in the right time frame, so you can get the most from it.

If you’re looking to seal a brand new deck, you’ll need to give it at least 30 days before you start sealing it. That’s because a brand new deck is still too wet, and will need some time to dry out. The best way to see if your deck is ready for sealing is to pour some water on it. If the water beads up, then your deck is still too wet. If it soaks it up though, it’s ready for sealing.

The time of day and weather will also dictate when you should seal your deck. You want a clear, dry day to seal it so the seal can get dry and cure. It’s best to apply it during the day too, as the sealant won’t evaporate in the hot afternoon sun.

Don’t Apply On Damp Or Frosty Decks

If your deck is damp or frosty, it won’t be able to properly take on the sealant you want to use. At best, you’ll end up with a blotchy-looking deck, and that’s not what you’re going for. At worst, you’ll see the sealant start to bead up instead of being absorbed, so the wood won’t get the protection it needs.

Do Pick The Right Sealant

This is where many homeowners slip up. There are so many different options, which one should you choose? This very much depends on what you’re looking for from your sealant. You can choose from any of the following:

Sealant: This is what will protect against moisture damage. They have waterproof or water repellent properties and are usually thicker than wood stains. They don’t have any pigmentation though, and won’t provide as much UV protection as other products on the market.

Stains: These will always have pigmentation in them, which will add color to your deck as well as adding UV protection. However, they only offer moderate protection against moisture.

Paint: There are several deck paints on the market, and they are usually oil or latex-based. Be aware that if there’s any moisture left in your deck, the paint can bubble or chip away. Paint will offer UV and moisture damage but doesn’t last as long as stain or sealant.

Many homeowners choose a combined stain and sealant, as this gives the wood color while protecting it. It’s up to you, so choose the option that works best for you and your deck.

Don’t Start Without Preparing Your Deck

You can’t head out as soon as you have your sealant and apply it right onto the deck. You need to prepare the wood first, so it’s ready for sealing.

First, inspect the deck. You’re looking for any problems with the wood, such as cracking, splitting, or pest damage. Termites are the most common pest issue with decks but don’t discount the fact that animals can nest under there, too. If you find any damage, have it repaired before you get started.

Next, wash the deck to remove any grime. A power washer is best to scrub the deck clean, ready for sealing. Finally, after 24 hours of drying, sand the wood to create the best sealing surface. Sand the entire surface, even if there are sections that are still sealed. Any previous sealant will stop the new sealant from penetrating the wood.

Finally, sweep the deck thoroughly to remove any dust and dirt. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to begin.

Do Use The Right Tools

There are several tools you can use for your deck, to ensure that the sealant is applied in an even layer. You can choose between a paintbrush, a roller, or a paint sprayer, so pick the one that’s right for you. You can use a pole so you can apply from a standing position, or on your hands and knees; if you do that, knee pads are very much recommended.

Don’t Apply A Thick Layer

When applying sealant to the deck, the thickness of the application is important. You’ll usually only need one layer, and it needs to be fairly thick. This allows it to be absorbed by the wood and get full protection. Laying the sealant on too thick will result in peeling and chipping.

If you need to apply a second layer, it’s best to do so only after you’ve allowed the first layer to dry for at least 24 hours.

Do Leave Your Deck For 48 Hours

Now you’ve got a full layer of brand new sealant on your deck, you don’t want to disturb it. You want to stay off your deck for at least 48 hours, which gives it enough time to dry and fully protect your deck. You may need to block entrances from the house, to remind family members not to step on it. After 48 hours, the sealant should be fully dry.

Don’t Forget To Seal The Deck Every Year

This is a general rule, to ensure that you keep your deck in good condition. If you live in a sunnier area, you really need to seal your deck every year. If you live in colder climates, you can get away with resealing the deck once every two or three years.

Conclusion

Now you know exactly how you should go about sealing your deck. And if you ever need assistance, it’s ideal to call in the professionals. Take care of it, and it will be able to last for decades into the future.

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Deck

Wood Deck Protection: Everything You Need to Know

A wooden deck or patio is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature.  In order to keep enjoying your deck, there are certain steps to take towards wood deck protection. Read the details below.

Whether you’re catching up on your reading, entertaining guests, or enjoying lunch with your kids, your outdoor space is an extended area of your home that offers endless benefits. However, take a look at your deck. Is it a structure that fits in with the beauty of your house, yard, and gardens? Or is it an eyesore of faded, cracked, and warped boards?

Forgetting about this important piece of your property is easy. But if you think about it, a deck is much like your body—if you give it the maintenance and care it requires, it will remain attractive and functional much longer.

Below is a list of some of the things that conspire to destroy your deck as well as a few wood deck protection tips.  With this, you can fight back against the natural and human ravages that besiege your deck every day.

Wooden Decks Take Abuse from Nature

It’s true. Your deck takes a lot of abuse, which is why it’s essential to invest in wood deck protection. Foot traffic alone can take years off the life of your deck, but that isn’t nearly all of the mistreatment to which it’s subjected.

Consider these that nature inflicts:

Sun: The sun’s rays are one of the most destructive elements to wood. The horizontal surface of the boards on your deck means they are always exposed to damaging sunlight. UV radiation is tough on nearly any substance.

Water: When rain is allowed to pool on the surface of your deck, pollen and mold spores soon follow and eventually discolor your deck. Also, if your deck is within six inches of the ground or close to water spigots, it could be susceptible to excessive water damage that can cause the wood to expand and rot.

Snow: In the past, the Northeast experienced a massive storm that dropped about 30” of snow on the region. Can you imagine the weight that the average deck was forced to bear? Many tried to clear their decks by shoveling them, while others worked their snow blowers on to them. Either way, area decks took a tremendous amount of abuse.

Leaves: Leaves that are not cleared off in the fall can result in moisture damage and staining on the surface of your deck.

You May Be Too Hard on Your Deck

Yes, nature takes its toll on your deck, but you and others also do your share to shorten its life.

Here’s how it happens:

Foot traffic: If your deck connects your house to a driveway or detached garage, you and your family are making countless trips across it. That means high-heels, boots, and sneakers are compressing mud, soil, sand, and pebbles into your deck almost every day.

Parties: Remember your milestone birthday party? Seventy-five guests on the deck with groups gathered in different areas concentrating hundreds, even thousands, of pounds of weight on one small part of your deck. And how about those who sat on and leaned against your railings? No wonder it creaked and groaned.

Planters: You place flower planters on your deck to add color and beauty, but they can trap dirt and moisture on your deck’s surface. Those areas can become cracked or discolored.

Furniture: Think of all the items that go on your deck during warm weather—conversation set, wicker chairs, side tables, dining set, and fire pit. All of these help you to enjoy outside living to the utmost, but they can also add to the warping and rotting that could ultimately destroy your deck.

Grill: Grease stains from your grill are often some of the most difficult to remove.

Protect Your Deck with These Hints

      • Place your planters on top of cement blocks to keep them from trapping dirt or moisture on the deck’s surface.
      • Make sure you use a grease catcher if you have your grill on the deck.
      • Sweep your deck regularly to prevent dirt and leaves from accumulating and staining the surface.
      • Remove snow from your deck as soon as possible with a plastic (not metal!) shovel.

Proper Wood Deck Protection and Maintenance is Crucial

Wooden decks cannot last long without proper care and regular deck maintenance. Without wood deck protection, they will erode, splinter, and rot. With it, they can last for many years.

Here are some deck maintenance suggestions. Some of these are do-it-yourself projects if you’re handy around the house:

  • Clean and seal: Either have it cleaned and sealed professionally every two or three years, or do it yourself every year. If you do it, be sure to sweep the surface and clean the cracks, then scrub the wood, and finally, apply the stain or a waterproofing deck sealer.
  • Make repairs immediately: Decks need to be repaired for a number of reasons—some structural, some cosmetic. If you have carpentry experience, you may save some money by tackling it yourself. If you don’t, it’s better to hire a contractor. That way your deck will meet safety guidelines and you’ll save time and money to have it done correctly.
  • Don’t use paint or solid stains: A quality stain and sealer will penetrate the wood grain to seal it, while still allowing moisture to escape from the wood. Paints and solid-color stains, on the other hand, help trap moisture. As your deck boards expand and contract with variations in temperatures and weather conditions, the paint will chip with the result being peeling paint and, eventually, rotten wood.
  • Seal pressure-treated wood: Even though your deck may be made of pressure-treated lumber, it is not exempt from the maintenance that you would give any other wooden deck. Moisture swells the wood, and the sun does its damage to the surface, creating cracks and warping.

Don’t Take Your Deck for Granted

Your deck is a critical investment, and it gives much in return. But you need to keep it well-maintained so that it retains both its functionality and beauty. By taking proper care of this valuable asset with these wood deck protection tips, you will protect your investment, minimize repairs, and ensure that it has a long life.

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Deck Coating

Wood Deck Resurfacing Ideas for the Perfect Spring Project

Your deck is the perfect place for you to relax and enjoy the sunshine after a long day, but what if your deck becomes cracked and full of splinters? Which type of wood deck resurfacing is best?

It’s an old argument, and it’s revisited every spring when homeowners realize that their decks have survived the winter—but just barely. It’s then that they are faced with a deck that needs a facelift and that recurring challenge: Do I paint or stain my wooden deck? What are the best wood deck resurfacing options for my deck?

Well, you can relax. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. Both products will give you what you want—a fresh look for your deck—and there are even other ways for you wake up that sleepy-looking structure before the summer entertaining season arrives.

Here are some ideas for wood deck resurfacing and coating; whether you have a new deck, or an old one. Most of them are do-it yourself ideas, although you may want to call in a professional if you’re not comfortable in that area.

Getting Bold with Paint

Painting your deck gives you the option of being creative with unique designs. Whether you’re coating a new surface or giving an old one a bold and refreshing update, exterior paint and some painters’ tape is all you need. Start by painting a single hue, and then try more bold patterns in a variety of colors. Just always make sure you’re using paints or stains made specifically for outdoor use. Here are five examples of creative designs:

    1. The outdoor rug: The best rugs for your deck are the kind that can be swept—with an ordinary broom. Simply tape off a rectangular design, then apply exterior paint in colors of your choice, and you’ll have a “rug” that can be hosed off.
    2. Abstract designs: If you have an artist’s touch, you can try freehand painting on your deck. Let your imagination be your guide.
    3. Geometric patterns: Designer Brian Patrick Flynn taped off large hexagons and used a palette of fuchsia, turquoise, and white to bring color to this outdoor space. Anyone can follow these step-by-step instructions.
    4. Stripes: You can use paint in many colors to create stripes. In this case, an entry deck was added to a kids’ playhouse and painted in alternating black and white stripes.
    5. Checkerboard pattern: You can make your wood deck resurfacing coordinate with the shutters or siding on your home’s exterior. That’s what the owners of this house did with their wooden porch boards in this checkerboard pattern.

Acrylic and Oil-based Stains: Which is Better?

If your deck looks worn out, you may need to replace it, but more than likely a new wood deck resurfacing coating will do the trick.  Here are two to consider:

Many homeowners prefer to use a semi-transparent stain with lightly pigmented coatings that can either change or maintain the color of your wood without hiding its grain. These water-repellant coatings contain ingredients that keep mildew in check. Semi-transparent coatings typically last about 18 months.

Solid-color stains have more pigment than semi-transparent products, so their color tends to hide the grain of the wood. But that added dye provides extra UV protection and better durability. So solid-color stains last longer—often three to five years.

Many homeowners who have used oil-based stains in the past have been switching to acrylics. Wood decks that have been tested at the Paint Quality Institute have shown that those treated with acrylic-based stains have to be recoated less often than their oil-based counterparts. They found that oil-based coatings quickly degraded, wore away, and often required a new application after one year.

Urethane Deck Coating 

A polyurethane coating sits on the surface of your deck rather than penetrating it. It is about fifty times thicker than paint, but it rolls on just the same. Proponents point out that it is a uniquely engineered urethane deck coating that is a long-lasting and reliable alternative to paints and stains and that it adheres to any properly prepared surface.

Opponents, however, warn that rain and harsh UV rays will cause polyurethane to fail quickly, which will subject the wood to weathering. If you do decide to use a urethane coating on your wood deck, you can better protect your deck from harsh weather conditions in summer and winter.

Wood Deck Resurfacing & Restoration Coating

Homeowners often choose wood restoration acrylic coatings for their severely weathered or neglected decks. They are made from an acrylic base material to which can include a tint along with UV inhibitors and solids (aluminum oxide or sand) to provide texture.

These deck coatings are very thick and can fill in and conceal cracks up to ¼-inch deep. They also create a slip-resistant finish that also resists future cracking and peeling. The prep work is extensive, and you’ll need a power washer, a bottle of deck cleaner, a roller, masking materials, and a roller extension.

While many homeowners are happy with the look of their deck after applying the restoration coating, others complain about the expense, the hard work, its roughness on bare feet, and its tendency to peel.

Installing a Composite Deck

You might think that it makes more sense to spend the money (and it takes quite a bit of it) on a composite deck and be maintenance-free forever. Composite decking ranges from $7 or so per square foot to double that and more depending on various factors.

Although these non-wood materials do not require the same amount of upkeep as wood decks, they are not totally without maintenance. They are susceptible to mold, scratches, fading, and warping, just like wood.

For quality and beauty, wood is hard to beat. It does require more upkeep than composite materials, but the outstanding results from regular sealing, staining, and cleaning make it a good choice for homeowners. Next time you are asking this question after wintertime, remember these wood deck resurfacing ideas!

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Blog Deck

5 Wood Deck Maintenance Tips For Summer

The summer is the best time to be out on your deck. Place some lounge chairs out there, along with maybe a table and a cold drink, and you’re all set. To properly enjoy the sunshine though, you’ve got to ensure your deck is in peak condition. Here are some wood deck maintenance tips to help you get your deck ready for the summer season.

The Importance Of Wood Deck Maintenance

Like most things in your home, your decking needs to be taken care of. This is especially true as it’s outdoors, exposed to the elements. It takes a battering over the winter, and so in the summer it’s going to look a little sorry for itself.

Luckily though, it’s fairly simple to spruce it up and get it ready for the summer, when you’ll be using it most. Use these tips to clean it up and get it looking and performing at its best. 

 

1. Inspect Your Decking

Before you can do anything else to your decking, you need to thoroughly inspect it. You’re looking for any signs of wood rot, as they need to be addressed first before the rot spreads. If the deck has been well maintained, this shouldn’t be a problem. When inspecting your deck, don’t forget to check underneath it too. Wood rot can take hold in areas that aren’t easily seen, so ensure that you check everywhere. 

If you do find some signs of wood rot, you’ll need to replace that wood before it goes any further. It may mean taking out some planks and replacing them, or cutting out areas of wood underneath the deck. Measure the area to get the right size wood to replace it, and then have the new wood installed. 

 

2. Wash Your Deck

Over the colder months, dirt and other debris can start to build up on your deck. Now that the sun has come out, you can start to clean it off to make it look its best. To start, you’ll need to give the decking a good sweep, to get rid of any loose dirt. Use a putty knife to go in between the boards and ensure that nothing has been missed.

The best way to clean your deck is with a pressure washer. This helps blast the dirt off, and lets you get in between the cracks too. If there are any tough stains, you can treat them with chemical cleaners, but you’ll need to be careful to choose the right one for your deck. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can call in professionals to help.

Once the deck has been cleaned, allow it to dry out thoroughly before you start on the next step. 

3. Replace Loose And Popped Nails

Loose and popped nails are annoying, as they’re able to snag feet as you walk over them. Also if they’re loose, they’re not holding the wood down securely. If you’re seeing these problems with your deck, you’ll need to replace those nails. Many choose to simply hammer them back down, but that’s not enough to properly mend them. A hammered down nail will simply pop back up at a later date, so it’s much better to replace them.

When you do this, ensure you’re using a nail the same size as the one you’re replacing. Hammer it in close to the original hole to replace it, and then place a deck screw over the top of it. This is designed to hold the nail in place and stop it popping back up again. If you want, you can cement it down with putty to make it extra secure. 

 

4. Sand And Seal Your Deck

Now you’ve taken care of all the hard work, your deck is ready to be sealed. There are several types of sealant, so you’ll need to find the one that works best for you. For example, clear sealants will be able to keep the wood sealed, while still showing off the wood beneath. Semi transparent sealants will do something similar, but they’ll add a touch of color to the deck. It will still show off the grain, but it will also sink into the wood, protecting it. 

The last option is a solid sealant. These are a good option if there are marks on your deck that you want to cover, as the color will block out the look of the wood entirely. These sealants also allow you to bring a pop of color to your yard if you’re looking for something different. 

Whichever one you choose, now’s the time to pick one and seal your deck, ready for the summer. 

 

5. Routine Wood Deck Maintenance is Key

Now that your deck has been fully cleaned up and sealed, you’ll need to do routine wood deck maintenance on it. The good news is because you’ve done the hard work, you won’t need to do so much hard work when you’re keeping up with it. 

You’ll need to sweep the deck regularly, to remove any debris that falls on it. Debris will stain the deck if left there for long enough, so ensure that you’re removing it regularly to avoid this. You’ll also need to keep inspecting the deck, looking for any signs of damage, such as wood rot or loose nails. Replace wood and nails as and when needed, and you’ll stop damage from spreading.

As you work on the rest of the garden, you’ll need to consider your deck too. For example, if you’re spraying chemicals on your lawn, they may damage your deck if it comes into contact with it. Check the packaging of any chemicals you use, and ensure that they don’t touch your decking.  

Conclusion

With these wood deck maintenance tips, you’ll be able to get your deck looking amazing for the summer. It doesn’t take much work to get even the most tired looking deck looking like new again, so now is the time to get started. Take good care of it now, and you’ll be ready to use it all summer long.

Categories
Maintenance Tips

3 Deck Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Deck from the Sun

Wear and tear on your deck is bound to happen, but there are ways to protect your deck from the sun to preserve it’s quality. Read on for three essential deck maintenance tips.

On average, Ventura County sees 272 days of sunshine a year-well over the national average. While these weather conditions make the city a beautiful place to live, there are some drawbacks to sunny days.

You may appreciate the warm sun on your skin, but without the proper protection, you’ll begin to notice some damage. The same holds true for your deck. Without constant maintenance and care to protect your deck, it may become gray, weathered, and unappealing.

Fortunately, maintenance is much simpler than you imagine. With these three deck maintenance tips, you can prevent damage from the sun and keep your deck looking fresh throughout the year.

Deck Maintenance Tip #1: Waterproofing System Included

Whether it is a concrete or plywood deck, a waterproofing system should be applied to prevent the deck from the exposure to sun and rain. The waterproofing system includes a layer of metal lath and one or two coats of modified concrete or polyurethane. The pitch of the deck should be examined to make sure the deck is draining water away from the door threshold.

A properly installed waterproofing system can last 10 to 30 years depending on regular deck maintenance to protect your deck, the environment and the amount of traffic. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right waterproofing system. For best results, contact a professional who has the experience and knowledge and can get the job done according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

Tip #2: Finishing/Coating the Deck

When sun-proofing your deck, your first line of defense is the finishing or coating you apply. The stain or coating material you use adds more than just aesthetic value. When you leave the surface of your deck unprotected, especially the surface of a wooden deck, damage is inevitable. UV radiation can cause damage to the lignin, or binding substance, of the material.

There are a variety of finishing materials that can keep your deck protected. Here are a few of the best:

  • Acrylic Coating. This product leaves your plywood or concrete deck resistant to cracking, peeling, and blistering.
  • Urethane Coating. You can use this product for concrete and plywood decks as well. With urethane coating, you protect your deck from staining and other sun-related damages.

Of course, before you apply a new finishing to your deck, you’ll want to prep the area. Remove any old coatings or stains, clean the wood, and then apply the sealant. For best results, contact a professional who has the experience and can get the job done quickly.

Deck Maintenance Tip #3: Regular Rot Inspections

Once you’ve done what you can towards deck maintenance, you’ll still want to perform regular inspections. In most cases, you can manage damages fast, and without spending too much, when you catch them early on. Rot occurs most often in cases where water has damaged the surface of the deck.

So, performing the above maintenance steps should reduce the risk. However, you should still take the time to examine the wood for rotten boards. Be sure to check hard-to-see areas like the underside of stairs and areas close to the house.

If you find that the rot is less than 1/2″ deep, it’s likely that you can save the board. Clean the area and reapply the finishing to stop the rot in its tracks.

The Sooner You Get Started on Deck Maintenance, the Better

Since Ventura County is a region that sees sunshine year-round, there’s no time like the present to sun-proof your deck. The time and money you invest today can save you in heartache and money down the road.

Simply take the time to finish or coat your deck, clean and brighten the surface, and perform regular rot inspections. By doing so, you can ensure that your deck has a long life.

If your deck wasn’t installed correctly from the start, you would likely need to hire a professional contractor. For example, if your deck isn’t sloped away from your house, that could be major reconstruction to add a slight angle for the runoff. Or if you find rotting joists and plywood, that may also be an issue that’s beyond DIY.

You can save some money by doing minor deck repair but call in the pros for the big jobs.

Categories
Deck Coating

How To Protect Your Deck This Winter (And Why You Need To)

The winter weather is well and truly here, and that means you need to think about how you’re going to protect your deck.

 

It gave you a lot of enjoyment over the summer months, but now the weather’s turned colder you need to protect your deck. Here’s how to prepare your deck for winter, and why you need to.

Why Do You Need to Protect Your Deck in Winter?

Over the winter months, your deck is going to experience bad weather. It could be wet weather, high winds, or freezing temperatures. These will all work together to damage your deck, leading to sizeable deck repair work in the spring.

If you leave the deck to the elements during the winter, you’ll see that all kinds of damage can happen.

  • If water gets into the wood, then it will buckle or warp. That’s going to ruin the look of the deck, and necessitate you changing out boards in the spring.
  • Wet weather will also lead to mold and wood rot if you’re not paying attention. These can do untold damage to wood if left unchecked. In some cases, you’ll even see that the deck will suffer structural issues if you leave it for too long.

You don’t want to be spending money on repairs in the spring, just because you hadn’t prepared properly in the winter. Use these tips to properly prepare and protect your deck now, so you’ll maintain a beautiful deck once the warm weather returns.

Wash Your Deck Down

The first thing to do is to wash your deck down thoroughly. Remove any furniture or other items off it, and hose it down to remove any dirt that’s accumulated. Make sure you pay attention to any cracks or crevices, to ensure that everything is clean.

You’ll want to then scrub the deck with a specialist deck cleaning solution, available from hardware stores. This will ensure your deck is totally clean, ready to be protected over the winter.

Fill In Any Holes Or Cracks

Next, inspect your deck carefully. There may be cracks and holes that need to be filled. These should be done now, because they can easily get worse over the winter. Rain water pools in them and freezes, pushing them open and making them wider. Filling them now will save you a large job in the spring.

Again, you’ll find the appropriate wood filler in the hardware store. When the deck is clean and dry, apply the hole filler until the gaps are fully sealed. Let the filler dry and harden fully before moving onto the next step.

Coat Your Deck

If you’ve not coated your deck yet, now is the perfect time to do it. Coating the deck will seal the wood away from any moisture, so you won’t have to worry about mold or rot. It will also give it an excellent finish. When the summer comes, the best coats will even protect the wood from discoloration thanks to the sun’s UV rays.

There are multiple different kinds of coatings you can buy. These usually fall into the category of clear or opaque coatings. A clear stain is usually the best coating to use if you want the color of the wood to shine through. An opaque coating, on the other hand, will totally obscure the wood. If the wood is discolored or otherwise not attractive, that’s the option you may want to use.

If you’re not sure which one to use, or how to do it, you can talk to a painting company who will come and do the job for you. This is often a good idea, as a sealant needs to be covering every surface in order to work as it should. If there are any gaps, this will weaken your deck’s defense.

Cover Your Deck

Now the deck has been cleaned, filled and sealed, you’ll need to cover it up for the winter. Doing this will help you keep the deck clean and tidy over the colder months. Use a tarp to cover up as much of the deck as possible. Don’t worry if there are parts you can’t cover, such as railings, as this will be taken care of in the next step.

With a tarp on your deck, you’ll stop debris falling onto your deck and staining the wood. If any debris falls onto the tarp, it’s still a good idea to remove it as soon as possible. Debris such as dead leaves can lead to mold growth, which will cause problems. Having the tarp down means you’ll avoid this happening directly on the deck.

Brush Off Snow

Once the weather really start getting cold, you’ll see the snow start to fall. When this happens, you’ll need to brush the snow off your deck as soon as possible. If you have a tarp down you’ll have a little more time to get the job done, but you will need to remove the snow as soon as you can. This is fairly simple to do on any exposed parts, such as railings, as you can simply brush the snow off with a gloved hand.

The best way to do this is with an outdoor brush, so you can sweep away snow without damaging the boards. Using a metal shovel can chip at boards and damage them. Using chemicals is usually inadvisable for similar reasons. If you do need to melt the ice, use pet safe chemicals as they will be the least aggressive.

If you do need to use a shovel, be sure to shovel parallel to the boards, rather than across them. When shoveling across, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll catch a board and chip it.

Conclusion

If you’re prepared for the winter, you will protect your deck and it will come out unscathed and look fantastic next summer. Clean it down, fill in any holes, and reseal the wood if you haven’t already.

Cover it up with a tarp, and remove any debris over the winter. When summer comes again, your deck will be ready.

Categories
Deck

5 Common Reasons Your Deck Needs Wood Rot Repair

Unfortunately, wood rot happens for a lot of reasons. But the great news is that there are a lot of options to wood rot repair and prevention. Below, you’ll find insight as to why rot occurs and the different ways to care for your wooden deck.

When your deck is first installed, it will look fantastic. If you don’t take care of it or it isn’t installed properly, then you’ll see that wood rot begins to set in. This is dangerous for your decking because if left long enough, you may need to replace the whole structure.

 

The Dangers Of Wood Rot

The problem with wooden decking is that it takes careful maintenance to ensure that it stays in good condition. Rot can set in even if you’re careful, and it’s easily missed.

If you do miss it, you’ll find that it spreads. Once a plank of wood has been infected with rot, you’ll need to remove and replace it to stop the spread.

Wood rot is unsightly, and will ruin the look of your decking that you worked so hard to get. More importantly, the rot will make the decking dangerous.

Rot will make the wood softer and make it uneven, making it a serious tripping hazard. You want to be able to use your deck without worry, so keeping on top of wood rot is essential.

 

The Most Common Reasons You Need Wood Rot Repair

We know that you’ll need wood rot repair if you have problems, but what causes your deck to rot? Here are some common reasons why wood rot has set in, and what you can do about it.

1. Moisture

This is the number one reason you’re seeing wood rot on your decking. For rot to set in, you have to have consistent moist conditions. If water can’t drain or dry away, then rot is going to set in.

2. Galvanic Rot

This type of rot will set in around the nails driven into your wood. This happens when galvanised nails and screws are driven into lumber. The chemicals in the metal react with the wood, causing oxidisation and causing rot to occur.

3. Insects And Pests

Another reason you might need wood rot repair is pests. For some pests, such as termites, your decking is both a safe home and a limitless food supply. If they get into your deck, they’re going to lead to it rotting.

4. Lack Of Airflow

Water and moisture is the enemy of your decking, but at some point, being outside, it’s going to get wet. If your deck doesn’t have good airflow, then you’re going to see water pool and start allowing rot to form.

5. Fungal Growth

There are always fungal spores in the air, and when they land on timber they can develop into fungus. This manifests as fungal growth on your wood, that damages it over time.

 

 

Preventing Wood Rot

There are many ways you can prevent the need for wood rot repair. With the right care, you’ll ensure that no wood rot can properly set into your decking.

1. Maintenance

The maintenance starts when the decking is being installed. It’s important to inspect the crown of the wood as it’s put down. Some planks will bow and the center of the plank will raise up, or cup and sag. If all the boards aren’t set the same way, this is more likely to happen.

This allows for water to pool on your decking, as well as making it uneven and dangerous. Installing the decking correctly will prevent this from happening.

2. Pests

Then there’s the issue of pests. To stop them from getting into your decking, it’s best to follow advice from pest control experts. Make sure you clear up after any outdoor gatherings, to remove food and temptation from would be pests.

Also, pests love to get under decking as it’s safe and warm. Running chicken wire similar around the edges will stop them from being able to get in.

3. Moisture

You also need to ensure that your wood can dry off after any rainfall in your area. Ensure that there’s airflow all around your decking. This is why chicken wire is great for pest control, as it still allows air through to your decking.

Avoid having your decking having direct contact with cement or masonry, and try and keep it from being directly in contact with the ground, too.

A great way of avoiding water damage is to create decking with a slight slope. This will allow water to run off the deck, so you won’t have to worry about standing water getting into the cracks and causing rot.

4. Inspections

Finally, the most important thing you can do is regularly inspect your decking for any signs of rot. Take your time and look carefully to see what’s happening with your wood.

If you do keep an eye on your wood, you’ll be able to see any damage before it becomes a real problem, making it much easier to repair.

5. Painting Your Decking

One of the most popular ways of preventing wood rot is painting your decking. This works well as with the right paint, you’ll be creating a watertight seal that no moisture will be able to penetrate.

That means no water damage, and no fungi growing on the wood and breaking down the wood itself. It’ll also discourage pests as they won’t be able to get at the wood.

You have a lot of options when it comes to painting your deck.

Choosing a paint designed for decking will give your deck a boost of color, as well as creating a seal against water. If you want to make your deck really pop as well as protect it, this is the way to go.

There are also stains that provide the same water seal, but don’t cover the wood. In fact, they can actually improve the look of older boards.

 

Conclusion

Wood rot is a serious danger to your decking and if left long enough, it will damage it. If you’re careful and take steps to prevent it though, your deck will look amazing for years to come, and you will not need to repair your deck due to rot.

Protect it from pests, seal it from water, and you’ll see what a difference it can make.

 

 


Read More:

Take These Steps Towards Deck Protection

Categories
Deck

How To Protect And Restore a Deck From Sun Damage

Over time, your deck faces a lot of weathering challenges, especially in sunny California. Because of this, it’s important to know how to protect and restore a deck from sun damage.

Your deck looks fantastic when its first installed, but over time it will get damaged and need some TLC to get it looking its best again.

Damage comes from all sorts of things, from rain to just general use, but the sun is one aspect that you just can’t avoid.

Here’s how you can restore a deck, and protect it from any further sun damage.

 

How The Sun Damages Your Deck

You may think you’ve done enough to protect a deck by sealing it from water damage, but the fact is the sun’s doing more damage than you know.

When the sun is out, your deck is being exposed to UV rays. Over the summer months, that damage is accelerated.

You’ll first notice this if your deck starts graying in the sun. Many homeowners don’t worry about this, as they think that it looks rustic.

The problem is though that the wood fibers are actually being damaged when this happens. This makes them more susceptible to cracking.

If left long enough, the sun will actually lead to your decking warping, cracking, and cupping. What once looked great will soon start looking sad and uncared for.

 

How To Restore a Deck After Sun Damage

Can you repair the damage to your decking? You can’t bring a single damaged board back to its former glory once it’s cracked or rotted, but you can replace them and make your deck look just as good as it used to be.

  • The first thing to do will be to inspect your deck carefully. It’s a good idea to bring a screwdriver with you.
  • You’ll see if a deck has been damaged by the sun, if it’s cracked or started cupping. However, sun damage also leaves your deck susceptible to water damage too.

Even if you can’t see this, the damage could be there.

The best way to check for this is to try and sink the tip of the screwdriver into the wood. If you can do this, there is rot present and that wood will need to be replaced. Be thorough, and check all of the wood on your deck to ensure that you’re replacing every part that needs replacing.

You’ll need to replace the wood on the deck, or even replace the deck itself if the wood is damaged enough. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a professional to make those repairs for you.

 

Cleaning Off Your Decking

Now the broken or damaged wood has been replaced, you’ll need to clean your deck off ready for the next step.

It’s vital that you clean your deck once a year, to remove any built up dirt and debris that causes damage. Remember, built up debris, especially in the cracks of your decking, encourages wood rot and other issues that you want to avoid.

  • To restore a deck, you’ll first need a deck cleaner. These are easy to pick up from your local hardware store. Some can be just mixed in a bucket, while others need to be applied with a hose or other method.
  • Another cleaning method is to use a pressure washer. These are great as they will remove any sun damaged wood fibers that are left on your decking, giving you a clean slate to start again.

When working with deck cleaner, make sure that you’re protecting any nearby plants from the solution.

Again, your deck cleaner instructions will let you know how to do this, as the strength of the mixture will dictate how dangerous it is to your plants.

It’s important that you don’t skip this step, as you’ll need a clean deck to coat it, ready to protect it from the sun.

 

 

Coating And Painting Your Deck

Now that your deck is clean and ready, you’ll need to consider how you’ll coat it. A good deck coating is essential, not only to protect it from the sun, but from water damage as well.

When you’re picking a sealer, be careful about which one you use. There are many clear sealers out there that protect against water, but don’t do anything to protect against UV damage at all. Check with a professional before you buy, to ensure you’re getting the right one.

Which sealant should you use? There are a few options, here’s what you could use to restore a deck:

– Clear sealant:

These are good options if you’re looking to show off the natural beauty of the wood in your deck. They retain the natural beauty of the wood, while protecting against any damage.

They should also protect against mildew, something else that is damaging to the wood. These are often best applied by a professional, and should be redone every two years.

– Semi transparent sealant:

As the name implies, these sealants are slightly more opaque in color, but you will still be able to see the natural wood underneath them.

They are great if you’re looking to keep the color of the wood intact. They offer better UV protection than clear sealants, too.

– Solid color sealants:

These are the best for UV protection, as they block all light from getting to your wood decking. If you’d like to change the color of your decking, then this is the sealant you want to use.

Like the other sealants, these are best used by professionals and inspected regularly, as a crack in the sealant is a good way for water and sun damage to start without you knowing.

 

Protecting Your Deck From The Sun

If your decking has taken sun damage, it isn’t too late. You can repair and restore a deck and ensure that it looks as good as new. The trick is in maintaining it properly throughout the year.

Ensure you give it a good washing every year, and replace the sealant every two years. You can restore a deck, but it’s much easier to just maintain it. Take good care of the decking, and you’ll never have to deal with sun damaged wood again.