(NC)—As the nice weather approaches, we all start to explore one of our favourite entertaining and relaxing areas, the great outdoor living space. As we look at this space, we begin to notice that it may be a little dirty or that the surface of our deck is a little tired looking. The first thing to think about is how to protect the investment and prolong its life. The two main causes of damage to any exterior wood surface is water and ultra violet rays. Although some outdoor woods might have preservatives, insect repellants and naturally long life in outdoor constructions, they are still susceptible to damage from water and UV rays. You can do a simple splash test by pouring water on to the surface and if the water penetrates into the wood it needs to be protected. If the wood is starting to look gray, the surface may be showing signs of aging from the sun and black mould and mildew could be growing on the surface.
The best way to protect your deck is to make sure you clean the surface prior to applying a water repellant product. Using a deck cleaner on the surface is key to removing oxidation, dirt, mould, mildew and dead wood fibers. Cleaners with brighteners in them can also restore the natural colour of cedar. Some believe that using a pressure washer by itself will clean the surface. Although a great tool in the right application it does not remove all the mould or mildew and can damage the wood surface by removing wood fibers.
Once the deck has been cleaned and has had time to dry you will want to protect against water damage and ultra violet rays. You may also like to add a little colour back into the wood. With the improvement of new products these days, you can clean your deck in the morning and protect it later in the day, say the research and development team at Thompson's. Here are a few ways to do this effortlessly: Clean the surface with their brand line called Thompson's WaterSeal Deck Wash, or with the Heavy Duty Cleaner. Protect it with their formula WaterSeal Advanced. It will protect your deck for years to come.
Ralph Swan is a wood care expert offering services to homeowners.
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