This time of year I get this question a lot. A previous customer Kathy James inspired this post with such a query.
NO WOOD TYPE OR SPECIES is immune to the damaging effects of water absorption and sun exposure. Deck Maintenance is always needed as your deck health is threatened by the elements heat, cold, rain, ice and snow. The failure to keep the deck protected will lead warping, cracking splintering and costly repairs
Let’s go through the pros and cons of deck restoration during the 4 seasons.
Pros- Perfect weather for all day enjoyment, it’s not that rainy so it is ideal temperatures for deck maintenance and protection
Cons- Fall can last through mid-November or through mid-December, while it’s ideal time for deck restoration, if you wait to late the opportunity for protecting your deck can end abruptly
Pros- Snowball fights
Cons- It’s too cold to do any maintenance or protection
Pros- Weather is pristine, lots of time to enjoy the deck
Cons- rainy, pollen falls, exotic hard woods cannot be done while pollen is still falling, rain may cause delays, there are still chances of freezing nights which can cause cracking and splintering to unprotected wood.
Fact- Once restored your deck has 1 year before a maintenance wash and 1 to 3 years of protection before needing to be done again.
Myth- Once completed you have 3 full seasons to enjoy, therefore it is the most ideal time
Pros- Morning and Evenings or under an umbrella mark the perfect time for relaxing and enjoying the deck.
Cons- it is hot, unprotected wood will degrade and become brittle under the brutal heat
FACT once restored I have 1 FULL year a maintenance wash and 1 to 3 years of protection before needing to be done again.
Myth- Once completed you have 2 full seasons to enjoy your deck.
In Northern Virginia, over 80% of decks are constructed with pressure-treated lumber, (usually pine) which has been injected with a chemical compound that protects it against rot and decay from termites and other wood destroying insects.
The term Pressure- treated does not provide weather protection for the surface. In fact, it actually makes the wood surface more porous- even more susceptible to moisture damage.
To combat moisture damage, a water repellent coating or a penetrating stain should be applied to the wood surface to prevent moisture absorption and, ultimately, dimensional change or worse, structural failure.
It seems like last week, both you and your deck were being oppressed by the sweltering summer heat. Summer has come and gone, can you believe it? As Autumn quickly sets in, I’m hearing in my head a Rolling Stones song “Time is on your side”(released September 13, 1982)—seriously when it comes to your annual deck maintenance- time is NOT on our side.
For many Fall is a favorite time of year, in this area it is beautiful. The weather is cooler, the leaves change. it’s an ideal time to wear a light sweater or blanket and relax on the deck with those you love.