Wood Deck & Fence Care
How to Maintain Your Wood Decks And Fences
You've invested a lot of time and money in your beautiful new wood fence or deck, so now you want to make sure it keeps its beauty and value. With the proper care and maintenance your fence or deck should last for decades.
Nothing beats the warmth and natural looking beauty of wood for a fence or deck. Unfortunately, because it is a natural element, constantly being exposed to weather and the elements is woods biggest enemy.
Caring for your deck and fence is not really that complicated or hard, once you understand what can cause damage to your wood and why. Let's go over what the biggest threats to your wood deck and fence are, and then we'll give you some tips on how best to protect them.
Wood's Two Biggest Enemies
Two of the biggest enemies of wood are: dry rot and wet rot. Both of these will ravage wood, sometimes very quickly, if left untreated. The good news is they are both easy to protect your wood fence or deck against.
Dry rot is the most common, and occurs when water has made the wood lose its protective oils and the wood dries out and becomes brittle.
Wet rot occurs when moisture meets wood on an ongoing, constant basis. Typically where posts meet the ground.
Stain Your Fence And Deck
The most important thing you can do to protect your new wood deck of fence against both of these, is to stain it right after it is built. A good linseed oil based solid or semi-transparent stain is considered the best. Wood's natural protective skin is its bark, and it has been stripped of this natural protection during the lumbering process. Now the soft fibers inside are exposed to the elements. Staining gives your wood back a similar protective skin against the elements, and the linseed oil will supplement and replace the wood's natural protective oils. Staining once a year after that is an essential part of protecting and caring for your wood.
Keep It Clean and Free Of Debris
Another important thing is to keep your wood clean and clear of debris, by making sure you don't let leaves pile up and lay on the deck or around the posts. Leaves and other debris trap moisture, cause wet rot, and make a perfect staging ground for termites. Also, if you have large planters on your deck be sure you move them around often so they don't leave rings, stains or cause wet rot.
One hardwood we use that has become very popular and is a bit different in caring for, is a Brazilian hardwood called Ipe' (ee-pay). It is as hard and durable as teak, for a lot less money. Because it is so dense, it has a built-in resistance to decay, fungus and termites. It also has the same 'Class A' fire rating as given to concrete and steel. A simple annual coat of finish will help Ipe' wood hold its original beauty. All this makes Ipe' an excellent choice for decks and fences.
For more information about installing or caring for your fencing or decking at your home or business, contact Viking Fence and Deck today. Our professionals will help you with all you need to get that great-looking, fence or deck you've always dreamed of!