Protecting Your Deck From Weather Damage

Protecting Your Deck From Weather Damage

If you own a deck, you understand the importance of protecting it. With extreme weather conditions, some prevention goes a long way in protecting your investment. Regularly sweep the deck and shovel snow when it accumulates to prevent damage from dirt and debris build-up. Consider applying a stain or sealant in late summer.

Protects Your Deck from UV Rays

The sun’s UV rays can severely damage wood that isn’t stained. Over time it can cause the wood to fade, warp, and dry out — leaving it more vulnerable to splintering. Deck staining protects the deck from this damage by blocking UV rays from reaching the wood. It also shields the timber from moisture, which can lead to mildew, mold, and rot. Transparent stains offer good UV protection and confer water-repellent and mold-resistant qualities. Semi-transparent stains offer more UV protection than transparent stains and retain color better, but they are more costly. Solid stains provide the most intense UV protection but require regular maintenance and touch-ups. Plain may be better if you prefer a more natural look that doesn’t compromise safety.

Prevents Moisture Damage

Moisture damage can be just as damaging to your deck as sun rays. If moisture seeps into the wood, it can cause mildew and mold growth, attracting wood-burrowing pests like termites. Staining helps prevent this by creating a seal over your deck’s surface. You can choose from semi-transparent stains that lightly tint the underlying color of your wood while still leaving the natural wood grain pattern visible or solid stains that provide maximum protection and lock down the pores. When choosing a stain, you’ll want to ensure the wood is in good condition and free of mold or mildew before applying. It’s also important to wait for the weather to be clear before using the stain. Rain or dew can cause the stain to peel.

Prevents Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are two of the most common wood problems homeowners face. They grow from spores that float through outdoor and indoor air. They also develop on wet surfaces. Mold and mildew can cause health issues if a person is exposed to them for extended periods. Regular staining prevents the formation of both of these organisms. While some products at the hardware store can kill or prevent mold and mildew, these are often ineffective. These products act as a “band-aid” rather than addressing the source of the problem. Staining the deck is an effective way to prevent the onset of these organisms. The available stains contain chlorothalonil, which has been used to avoid mold growth in peanuts and potatoes. It is also an ingredient in many commercial antifungal sprays.

Prevents Wood Rot

Wood rot is a significant problem that can cause severe damage to your deck. It starts with a small patch of softwood and spreads quickly. Left untreated, it can cause splinters, warps, and cracks in the surface of your deck and can even rot the joists beneath your deck. Stain prevents wood rot by creating a seal against moisture. It also stops water from absorbing into the wood, which can lead to mildew, mold, and even rot. In addition to preventing damage from weather, stain gives your deck a beautiful finish. If you prefer something else to the rustic look that paint can provide your deck, staining is an excellent alternative with plenty of color options. Plus, stain takes less time to apply and is more forgiving than paint if you miss a spot.

Prevents Stains from Peeling

Many wood stains will eventually peel and need recoating. This typically occurs due to dirt left on the stain’s surface. This is why it is essential to prep the deck correctly and remove all debris before staining. Staining doesn’t just protect your deck from moisture damage; it also helps to preserve the color of the wood. Solid stains safeguard from UV rays and help prevent natural wood from fading. If you prefer a paint-like look, semi-transparent stains will allow you to show off the natural wood grain while adding color. With both types of stains, it is essential to remember that less is more. Too much stain can prevent moisture vapor from escaping and cause your deck to peel.

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