As any cottager or home owner knows, lumber left outside unprotected doesn’t last very long and decks are one of the hardest hit places. Between rain and sun, wet and dry, it doesn’t take too long for uncovered wood to start to show signs of rot.
The wet and dry effects cause wood to swell, often resulting in cracks, which let moisture in, which result in mildew and mold, and eventually rotting.
Of course that’s where painting comes in, a couple of good coats of paint will help to protect your wooden decks and outdoor chairs etc. So will a good coat of deck treatment or preservative.
Studies have shown that even pressure treated lumber, designed to withstand some of the elements without rotting, as well as redwood and cedar wood, all need a coat of preservative to extend their life.
So what is the best kind of deck treatment to apply. Well, my first answer is, the easiest, because you are going to have to do it pretty much every year, so ease of application is important. Then you need to decide what are the hazards faced most by your deck. Is it sun, or rain or both? In our case, our deck has a roof over it, so the sun and rain effects are minimized but not gone completely. On windy rainy days the wind blows the rain up on the deck, and as the sun comes up in the morning, the deck is exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays. So a roof is helpful, but not the final solution.
Clear wood deck treatments allow the natural beauty of the wood to show through, but are not always good at protecting from the sun’s rays. If the grain shines through the finish, the sun shines through the finish….duh…
But all is not lost, there are semi-opaque finishes and opaque finishes, which will help protect your deck investment from the sun as well as the rain. Opaque treatments will last longer, at least two or three years, as opposed to clear finishes which are usually only good for about a year.
Application processes differ so be sure to read the label before you buy a can. Some of the deck treatments require two coats to work, and you know you don’t want to be bothered with doing that. If you’re like me, you want to get it done and move on to something else…something fun…like digging up the septic tank to have it pumped out….
© 2007 – 2011, Rob Dares. All rights reserved. Cottager Online/The Cottage Chronicles / Rob Dares material is copyrighted, please contact me if you wish to inquire about reposting etc All prices quoted for products are subject to change, customer is responsible to confirm price with seller.