It’s no secret that summers in Texas are hot. As the heat builds and the sun beats down your deck could suffer from the exposure. At TimberTown Austin we’re experienced in building and maintaining decks in central Texas. We’ve seen what the summer heat can do to a deck and we know how to prevent damage before it happens.
Here’s TimberTown Austin’s expert advice on protecting your deck during the hottest months of the year.
Heat is just about as damaging to wood as water. When decking is exposed to hot conditions it can shrink and dry out. When wood is dried out it is more likely to retain water, which can cause the wood to swell and lead to rot. In addition, the cycle of swelling and drying from water and heat can cause wood to crack, split and warp.
Preventing Heat Damage
The best way to prevent heat damage from occurring is with a good coat of sealer. Decks can start feeling the affects of weather from day one so you need to put the sealer on ASAP. But it’s not a one-and-done job. You need to lay down another coat of sealer every year to two years.
Repairing Heat Damage
First you need to decide if the deck can be salvaged. If the majority of the boards are warped and split it may be best to replace the decking. At the very least you’ll need to straighten boards out and replace any nails that are popping out.
Once that’s done clean the deck thoroughly before applying a sealer. If you want to go the extra mile, apply a solid stain before sealing to extend the life of deck boards that have started to crack.
No type of wood is totally resistant to the effects of the sun. Whether it’s hardwood, redwood, cedar or pressure treated lumber eventually the sun will take its toll. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause wood to gray, which is a sign of surface degradation. So it’s not just cosmetic problem, it’s a structural problem.
Preventing Sun Damage
As soon as the deck build is done lay down a coat of finish that contains UV inhibitors, such as Sikkens Cetol® SRD Translucent finish. The inhibitors will block UV rays like sunscreen and prevent chemical reactions that lead to surface degradation.
Repairing Sun Damage
If your deck is already sun beaten you can still rescue it if the structural integrity is still in tact. First use a deck wash and brightener solution to clean the surface of the deck. This will remove built up residue and bring back some of the natural beauty. If the decking is extremely faded you may want to apply a solid stain after you’ve cleaned. Next apply a sealer with UV inhibitors to finish restoring the color and provide protection from the sun.
Fortunately deck maintenance is usually a one-day job that will protect your deck for the rest of the year. With the right stains and sealers you can keep any type of wood looking good even during the sun-filled summer months.
Image Source: jaymarinspect.com
Original Source: timbertownaustin.com/maintenance/protecting-your-deck-from-the-texas-heat