Florida allows us to live outdoors and draws us to its beautiful waters all year round. Waterfront living is bountiful and so are the docks and decks. Entertaining friends and family on an outdoor deck or dock is a source of endless fun by all, including; boating, fishing, sunning, dining, parties or just relaxing and enjoying the view. Maintenance of that deck or dock means the party safely continues.
It is tricky to maintain the beauty of your decks original wood finish. The sun, sea and harsh summer storms can wear out the original wood finish sooner than you might think possible. It is not only important to maintain your wood deck for its beauty, it is imperative to conduct routine maintenance for safety reasons. Check all the bolts, nuts, nails and other metal fasteners for rust or corrosion. To keep your friends and family safe you will also need to replace splintered or dried-out wood slats as soon as possible.
Professional Deck Maintenance
Consult with a professional in your town regarding proper maintenance techniques which are suitable and ecologically healthy for your environment. You will want to be responsible and take care when choosing cleaning products and choose waterproof products that are also environmentally-friendly, especially if your dock is over the water. Most homeowners find they can’t quite replicate the results a professional can provide when they are ready to stain, paint, or otherwise refurbish a tired outside deck.
The Advantages of Deck and Dock Staining
Dock owners find a greater return on their investment with scheduled routine maintenance which includes cleaning of the wood planks and staining or waterproofing. Scheduled maintenance of your wood decking rather than having to replace wood planks tends to be less expensive and less disruptive to your outdoor lifestyle. Typically, deck staining prevents against the growth of mold and aging as well as damage caused by insects and other termites. Staining not only adds a decorative flair to your deck it also increases the lifespan of your deck by protecting it from sun damage like bleaching.
Signs That the Wood on a Deck or Dock Needs Maintenance
- You can visibly see fading of the wood stain
- It develops a bleached out look
- Water is no longer beading off
Some stains and sealants are used to waterproof while some are for sealing. Some stains serve the dual purpose of both waterproofing and sealing. What is the difference, what are their applications, and which should you use on your deck?
Sealing the Wood on Your Deck or Dock
Sealing stains work by penetrating the wood to act as a shield against moisture. Moisture will inevitably cause mold and algae to sink into and harm the integrity of the wood. Following a sanding or power wash, a sealant stain is applied to the deck. Once it has been applied and allowed to cure, the stain will prevent excessive buildup of moisture and keep out harmful contaminants like mold and fungus.
Waterproofing the Wood on Your Deck or Dock
Waterproofing and sealing are fundamentally different. While some sealers provide waterproofing, a coat developed for the purpose of waterproofing is ideal for a deck that comes into contact with significant amounts of moisture. As a rule of thumb to determine if your deck requires waterproofing, you should flick water onto the wood, if the drops are absorbed, your deck needs to be waterproofed.
Hiring a Professional
Consider hiring a professional deck maintenance painting contractor to handle the preparation, staining, and painting of your dock or deck. FCI Painting located in Naples, Florida has extensive experience painting, staining, and maintaining the appearance and integrity of outdoor decks. In Naples, we know that the sun, wind, and rain can take a heavy toll on our outdoor wood finishes. Thankfully, deck and dock maintenance can help alleviate the damage caused by the year round sun. To protect your deck from the elements and increase the value of your home, give FCI Painting a call today at 239-435-1001.