Sealing A Wood Deck – Wood decks, if left on the ravages of nature, can rapidly deteriorate from that clean, shining wood surface you so admired when your deck was not used to a dingy, gray, mildew and dry-rot infested eyesore. If the damage is mostly on the deck surface, quick relief is along the way with the cleaning and resealing methods I recommend below. Before you begin, though, you ought to look underneath to make sure dry rot hasn’t found its way in your deck.
Checking for Dry Rot and Making Repairs. Dry rot is often a fungus that forms in moisture soaked wood, most often in places shaded from sunlight. Left untreated it will spread and destroy the integrity of the timbers, bringing about structural failure. Seek against each other diligently. It will hide of your stuff in locations where are difficult to achieve, often under the deck where boards and timbers meet. Use a screw driver or similar tool to jab at wood, trying to find the tell-tale cardboard-like texture which offers little potential to deal with your probing. Don’t be fooled by painted boards that are sound. Dry-rot can hide behind a layer of paint and stay difficult to notice before you probe. Badly damaged supporting timbers and deck boards need to be replaced. If the damage isn’t severe you are able to chip away the loose wood fibers and apply a fungicide product such as Bora Care or Shell-Guard. Many people report good success with using anti-freeze to help remedy the affected area. If a significant portion of a timber is damaged, consider removing that part and replacing it which has a tight-fitting plug that you just epoxy into place. (Follow recommended safety guidelines whenever using epoxy.)
Cleaning the Deck Surface. Even after an individual season new decks, or else properly treated, can lose their original luster and turn a dingy gray. Ultraviolet rays tend to be at fault. Grime, mold spores may also detract from your appearance your deck. Before you start focus on the specific surface cleaning, make sure your deck has proper drainage. Clean the cracks involving the surface boards which has a pressure nozzle on your own garden hose. (As tempting as they can be, stay away from a pressure washer. Even if used judiciously the power of the spray can break the soft fibers of the wood, giving your deck a grainy and fuzzy appearance.) Where stubborn grime remains within the cracks involving the boards, use a putty knife or saw blade to clear the best way for water to drain. This is especially important close to a home where winter snow can trap water and create a pool inches deep.
The next line of attack is to try using an oxalic acid-based wood cleaner such as Wolman DeckBrite Wood Cleaner & Coating Prep or Armstrong’s Wood Cleaner. The oxygen bleach products tend not to contain chlorine and so are safe to use around plants and animals. The main ingredient is bleach, sometimes inside a liquid solution or perhaps dry form with soda ash. As the solution soaks in to the wood, oxygen ions stop working mildew, algae, and dirt.Another approach, should you be dealing mostly with mildew, is to you could make your own cleaning solution with 3 quarts water, one quart of oxygen bleach, as well as a quarter cup of liquid dishwasher detergent. Use the ammonia free type. The oxygen bleach will get rid of the mildew and the detergent will aid in its removal. After allowing the cleaning means to fix are a symbol of 10 or 15 minutes, scrub with surface area which has a medium-stiff brush, either with a pole like a push broom or down on hands and knees if you’re like me and you want to put your muscles in your work. The final step is to rinse it clean which has a garden hose.
Apply a Quality Deck Sealer. Allow your deck to dry before you decide to apply any sealer or stain. Then choose a day if you are confident that you just won’t have rain for the next 24 to 48 hours. You shouldn’t attempt to use stains or sealers over existing paint or stain because the sealer won’t penetrate the wood. You can test this by sprinkling just a little water on your own deck. If the water beads and it is still at first glance after 15 minutes, you will have to turn back and remove the current stain. When it comes to choosing a sealant there are several points to consider. Natural oil sealants aren’t recommended because the oils turn deck green or black. Also the natural oils be food for algae and mildew. Most clear sealants won’t provide much protection against UV ray damage.
Among the very best choices are pigmented sealants since it is the pigments that absorb UV rays and diminish the discoloration so frequently seen on wood decks. An epoxy sealant, such as DEFY Epoxy Fortified, has chemicals that both deflect sun light and absorb harmful rays. It is often a water based formula that comes in various colors such as natural pine, cedar, and redwood. Tinted finishes add color without hiding the natural wood grain, while semi-transparent stains increase the color, allowing some of the wood’s grain to exhibit. The semi-transparent stains provide longer protection than tinted finishes. If you have grown sick and tired of cleaning and your wood deck every several years, you may be ready to consider another option-paint. A great choice, but tricky to use, is often a new paint that is often a combination of water-based urethane and acrylic resins, such as the Sears Weatherbeater Ultra. The advantage would be that the coating lasts for quite some time. Although decks can have to have a lots of maintenance to keep them looking sharp, they also offer years of enjoyment.