The great three enemies of wooden decks are moisture, exposure to the sun’s UV light, and temperature variation, each affecting the deck in different ways. Eco House Painters offers advice to homeowners who want to stay a step ahead of this triple menace.
Moisture fosters mold, mildew and wood rot which causes wood to expand and contract. What you can do: Keep your deck free of standing water, snow and wet leaves. Promptly remove mold and mildew with a cleaner recommended for your deck surface.
UV light from the sun degrades and fades previously applied finishes, while also drying wood fibers to split wood grain and allow moisture to penetrate the deck surface. What you can do: Carefully inspect your deck each season for signs that the stain or paint is no longer providing adequate protection from the elements. Consult with a professional if you are unsure how to proceed.
Temperature variation also causes deck materials to expand and contract, creating splits in the surface that allow moisture to enter. What you can do: If you live in an area where annual extremes of temperature are the norm, be aware that degradation of the deck material may be accelerated, requiring more frequent preventive maintenance.
When to call in the professionals
If the condition of the deck exceeds what you feel comfortable tackling, it’s time to call in a professional experienced in bringing damaged deck surfaces back to life. Each deck is different, but in every case careful preparation is critical. There’s no way you can achieve first-class results without first-class preparation.
Colors and finishes – choices abound
Choosing a new coating for your deck is a trade-off of appearance and durability. Semi-transparent stains enhance the rich appearance of wood grain and texture, but will likely need to be reapplied every 1-2 years. Solid stains provide opaque protection that allows the texture, but not the grain, to show through; durability is typically 2-3 years. Wood texture, but not grain, is also apparent when paint is used on a deck, and a painted deck generally does not need to be recoated as often as a stained deck.
It’s a matter of personal taste and what was previously used on the deck. At the end of the project the most important thing is that the customer has a deck that looks great, suits their taste, and complements their lifestyle. Then everybody’s happy!