Wood Deck Refinishing
Wood decks are distinctive outdoor living rooms that incorporate natures beauty and add value to your home and quality of life. The unique appearance and characteristics of wood species such as Ipe, Redwood, Teak, Cumaru, Mangaris, Cedar, Tigerwood, and Mahogany make them perfect for creating these magical outdoor living spaces. However, many people that own wood decks often receive little or no information on how to properly care for and maintain them and are unaware a professional service exists to do it for them. If you are one of the many home owners that has become frustrated with the look and performance of your deck it is fortuitous that we have made contact. We have mastered deck refinishing and maintenance techniques for each specific wood type used in modern deck building. Teak Master has been performing deck restoration and refinishing for nearly 20 years and we excel in understanding the unique challenges of weather in the various microclimates throughout Southern California. You can rest assured your wood deck investment will be receiving the highest level of protection and service available.
Deck Restoration Technique
We begin our deck refinishing process by cleaning the wood to remove surface contaminants such as dirt, mold, algae, and previous coatings. Old deck coatings can be tough to remove and may need additional cleaning techniques to help break them down. The wood will need to go through a drying period before it is ready for the next step, sanding. Wood type and climate will determine how fast the wood will dry.
Sanding is the next step in our deck refinishing process. Sanding will not only remove remaining contaminants cleaning doesn’t quite eliminate, it also exposes fresh new wood, opens the grain, and smooths the surface all in one. Thorough sanding is the most crucial step in deck refinishing and also the most skipped because it is very difficult, but absolutely necessary. Employing the use of floor, belt, orbitals, and good old fashioned hand sanding to get into intricate railings, stairways, and flooring ensures every detail of your deck is restored.
The wood needs to be cleaned after sanding to remove residual dust and contaminants from the grain. The deck will be cleaned with wood brightener to remove dust, eliminate contaminants, and promote the natural color of the wood, all in one. Wood brightener also helps prevent unwanted growth of black mold, algae, and mildew.
Extensive preparation is the only way to ensure optimal results. The final step is application of the protective coating. Your decks specific wood type, coupled with the look or color you are trying to achieve, will determine the best protective coating. We use fine oil base sealers for Redwood, Ipe, Teak, Mangaris, Cumaru, and all other woods used for decking. Water based products are also available in solid stains for a clean even look for almost any wood type. We apply all of our coatings by brush to ensure each and every piece of wood receives maximum penetration and saturation.
Proper deck maintenance begins with a visual inspection. A timeframe of four to ten months can be used to get a general sense frequency. However, as weathering, exposure, and wood type may vary, maintenance might be needed sooner and should be performed when visually necessary regardless of timeframe. Wood decks are large horizontal surfaces that accept massive amounts of UV, contaminants, and foot traffic. This is why horizontal surfaces need maintenance more often to keep them protected and looking their best. Imagine not washing your new car for 8 months. Chances are, it would look pretty bad. The best way to keep the paint looking great is with a periodic wash and wax. In theory, the same thing goes for decks. Decks need to be cleaned and periodically re coated to protect them from damage.
Deck maintenance begins with cleaning the surface to remove contaminants that have settled in the grain. Light spot sanding may be needed to remove severe weathering, stains, or scratches. Wood brightener will be applied to promote natural color and eliminate and prevent mold and algae. The same coating will be applied to enhance and protect the wood. Most deck maintenances can be performed in one day.
Protecting New Wood Decks
New wood decks should be coated within 2-3 weeks after installation. The damaging effects of weathering will begin immediately on unprotected surfaces and may require more preparation if left untreated for longer period of time.
Although lumber comes from the factory looking brand new, it has various imperfections that need to be removed before a protective coating can be applied. Mill glaze is a barrier that occurs when wood is milled at the lumber yard. When boards are run through the mill, natural oils heat up and rub against metal creating a film and possibly varying patterns of black markings. This film can actually prevent a protective coating from fully penetrating and adhering and must be removed before application.
Protecting new wood decks begins with a mild surface cleaning or light sanding to remove mill glaze and black markings. Cleaning also removes unwanted contaminants such as mold, mildew, pollen, and dust from the grain, leaving the wood perfectly clean and ready for the proper coating.
Your decks’ specific wood type will dictate the correct protective coating. All of our finishes are applied the old fashioned way, by hand. This thorough method ensures a generous and consistent coating will be applied, even between boards.
Decks are often built using a variety of woods that are more prone to rot and decay than others. Many times spacing and fastening systems can contribute to premature rot and shifting of boards. Railings are also a common feature that can become loose over time and become unsafe. We are experts in replacing boards that have become damaged. We are familiar with all types of fastening systems including hidden fasteners, counter sinking traditional decks screws, and countersunk screws with dowels covers. We are full service repair experts ready to address your needs.
Decking Woods We Service
- Ipe or Ironwood as it is sometimes called is a very dense and oily hardwood from South America. Over the past 10 years it has become increasingly popular for exterior wood use such as decks, siding, trim, and furniture. Being dense and high oil in content makes maintaining it quite a challenge if you are not thoroughly experienced. We have over 13 years of experience restoring, protecting, and maintaining Ipe for hundreds of clients. Read more
- Teak is a great choice for exterior wood surface use as it is impervious to rot and wood boring pests. It is the premier choice for outdoor wood furniture and is becoming increasingly popular for wood decks, pergolas, and siding. We are experts in restoring and maintaining its beautiful natural honey color. Read more
- Mahogany has many different varieties from different parts of the world. Although it is rare to find an entire deck made of solid Mahogany they do exist. We have pictures in our before and after section of a dramatic restoration in San Marino. Mahogany has always been known for its beautiful rich reddish brown color and tight grain. There is no one who knows more about maintaining Mahogany in exterior use than us. Read more
- Mangaris is a beautiful wood similar in grain to Mahogany but different in hardness and color. It is a beautiful alternative to teak and ipe and its vibrant brown color is a perfect complement to any home. Being a bit softer than some of the other wood types makes it a bit easier to maintain because it accepts more sealer. We have the most knowledge and best protective coatings for this beautiful wood. Read more
- Redwood has been used for centuries in many different types of exterior use. It has been the most popular choice for wood decks since the mid 1900’s. Did you know most types of redwood are considered hardwoods? Yes it may be softer than teak but it is hard enough to last an extremely long time when exposed to nature’s elements. Being softer than other hardwoods makes maintaining redwood easy because it is able to accept a greater amount of protective coatings. Restoring and maintaining the rich color and beautiful color of this timeless wood is our specialty. Read more
- Cedar is a beautiful wood that is mainly used for fences and sometimes decks in exterior wood use. Although there are many different species of cedar found throughout the world, maintaining it remains the same. It is able to accept a large amount of sealer so it maintains its color for years. We have the best sealers for maintaining cedar. Read more