The summer sun may make you want to get outdoors and soak up the rays on your deck. You probably protect yourself from sun damage with sunscreen and a hat, but what about your deck? These tips can help you protect your deck from the heat this summer.
Add Shade To Block UV Rays
Adding shade on or around your deck can block UV rays to protect you and your deck from sun damage. Decks left exposed to the harsh Californian sun are more prone to fading, warping, cracking, and rotting.
Large trees around your deck are a natural source of shade. You should choose trees with compact root systems that won’t interfere with your deck. Conifers and oaks are excellent options, since they’ve got deep tap roots and are durable enough to thrive in warm Californian weather. For an easy-care solution, consider protective structures such as pergolas, curtains, shade screens, and awnings. If you’re on a budget, you could also think about adding a large umbrella for semi-permanent shade when you’re enjoying the outdoors.
Spot-Clean Your Deck
Spot-cleaning your deck can remove small issues that may become major problems. Leaf litter can hold moisture, which can seep into your deck and cause structural damage. Sweeping away fallen leaves will prevent this issue. Bird droppings aren’t just unsightly. They’re also acidic. Cleaning up bird waste when it falls can prevent it from eating away your wood. The soil in your pot plants also contains living organisms that can eat away at your deck. Keeping your plants elevated can reduce the amount of soil in contact with your deck and help you easily see when soil needs cleaning up.
Cookouts and dinner parties are great fun, but spills are inevitable. If you leave food and drink on your deck, they can stain your wood. They might also attract insects that may damage your deck. Thoroughly cleaning your deck once your guests go home can help you keep it nice for your next event.
Pressure Wash Your Deck To Keep It Fresh
Pressure washing your deck can efficiently remove dirt and debris, including mold and mildew. While you’ll notice how fresh pressure washing makes your deck look, you might not realize that removing these foreign substances helps your deck resist staining and structural damage. Summer is one of the best times to tackle this job, as you won’t have to contend with falling leaves and spring showers impacting your hard work. The days are also long enough to fit extra jobs in, and the warm sun should dry your deck quickly.
Add a Fan To Draw Out Moisture
Bright UV rays aren’t the only summer element that can do a number on your deck. Summer humidity and showers can also add moisture that can make your deck a breeding ground for mold and mildew during hot Californian weather. Mold is a health hazard that can impact your deck’s structural integrity if left untreated. A fan can pull pockets of humidity and hot air out of your deck to dry it out and minimize the risk of molding. It’ll also keep you cooler when the mercury rises. Choose a large portable fan or a wall-mounted option.
Use Glides To Prevent Furniture Damage
Outdoor furniture makes your deck more comfortable, but it can also damage the wood. That’s especially true during summer when you’re using your deck more often and dragging furniture around. Just think about how many times people scrape your chairs over your deck when sitting down at the table and getting up after meals, and you’ll start to see how much your deck suffers over summer. Covering the feet of your deck furniture with glides helps your pieces move freely without impacting your wood.
Use a Rug
Using a rug is another way to reduce the risk of furniture gouging your deck. A rug can also make your deck more attractive and inviting. However, you don’t just want to throw down any rug. Rugs meant for indoor use will soak up moisture and potentially lead to rotting. Instead, look for rugs meant for outdoor use, such as pieces made from recycled plastic. These modern rugs resist absorbing moisture so you don’t have to worry about keeping them out in the elements. Since their manufacture keeps plastic out of landfills, they’re also great for the environment.
Seal or Paint Your Deck
Sealing and painting aren’t jobs for every summer, but you probably need to do them more often than you think. Most experts recommend sealing or painting your deck every three to five years, but California’s high heat and humidity make this a job for every two to three years. Using sealant or paint can extend the life of your wooden deck by adding a protective coating. You can check whether it’s time to treat your deck by hosing it down. If the water seeps in rather than beading, it’s time to reseal or repaint.
Sealant enhances wood’s natural beauty while paint is available in a rainbow of colors. You might also choose paint if you want to hide any deck damage. Use a primer and wood preservative with your paint to get the best results. Look for sealants and paints with special additives that reduce the wood surface temperature to protect your feet and deck over the summer. Don’t confuse sealants with stains. While both products enhance natural wood, stains don’t protect decks as sealants do unless they’re sealant-stains.
Reverse Sun Damage With Teak Master
While these tips can protect your deck now and in the future, they can’t reverse the damage that’s already been done. That’s where Teak Master comes in. Our deck refinishing and restoration services can wind back the clock and give your deck a new lease on life. As a local company, we understand Southern California’s unique climate and what it takes to treat weathering from harsh UV rays. Contact us online or call us at 888-477-1125 to learn more about what we can do for your deck.