How to Make Your Deck Look New Again and Keep it That Way

Your wooden Deck repair southern illinois or fence is a big investment. Cleaning and sealing it properly will extend its life and make it a source of pride for you and your family. No matter the type of wood, sticking to a scheduled maintenance program will ensure that your deck stays beautiful.

If you have a new deck, have it cleaned to kill mildew spores in the wood, remove surface impurities that keep sealers from penetrating, and then protect it with a waterproof sealer.

Professional cleaning and sealing with the proper products and tools can reduce the need for cleaning and refinishing to every two or three years instead of every year.

Weather and other environmental factors can be devastating to wood. Rain and dew are quickly absorbed by unprotected wood, causing it to soften and swell. When the sun dries the wood, it shrinks. These expansion and contraction cycles cause wood to warp, cup, crack, and gray, leading to premature aging and the need for replacement.

After 1 to 3 years of continuous sun exposure, unprotected wood will begin to gray, which indicates wood fiber degradation and the beginning of structural damage. Like sunburned skin, the grayed surface layer is permanently damaged. In cedar and redwood, this graying can occur within 30 days.

Weather is even harder on decks than on other types of wooden structures. This is because decks are horizontal and allow water to pool on their surface; the moisture attracts pollen and fungal spores, which cause discoloration. Decks are also subject to 50 percent more sunlight than structures with vertical surfaces and have to handle foot traffic.

Some people believe that wood has to “age” before it can be sealed, but this isn’t true. The day that you finish installing your deck or other wood structure is the day you need to protect it from premature aging and expensive repairs. Proper cleaning of the wood before staining will ensure that it is able to absorb the wood sealer.

Others believe that pressure-treated wood is weatherproofed, but it isn’t. Pressure-treated wood has been injected with a chemical that protects it against rot and wood-eating insects such as termites. But this process does nothing to protect the surface of the wood against weather. In fact, pressure treatment actually makes the wood even more porous and vulnerable.

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