With summer here I have noticed that my wooden deck has not fared well over the winter. Once again the paint is faded and peeling and I notice that some mushrooms have taken up residence between my deck boards. I dread sanding and painting this deck again!!! What can I do to minimize this constant headache?
Great question, I’ve only fielded this one about eight times so far this year. You are not alone. Truth is there isn’t much you can do about it. It is a vicious cycle that DIYers bring on themselves unfortunately. There are some hard and fast rules that need to be followed when painting or applying an opaque or semitransparent stain to wood. First is; the wood needs to be dry. After installation you should wait at least one year before applying any finish to the wood. This will assure that the wood has reached a level of dryness where it will readily accept coating. Second is; when finishing any wooden surface, six sides should be finished. Now I know everyone is yelling at me now saying,”ok, I’m not reading this anymore this guy is insane. Asking me to paint the top and bottom of my deck, I never!” Sure I know that what I am saying sounds ludicrous, I agree, ain’t nobody gonna take off every deck board to paint top sides bottoms and ends. But if you understand the reasoning behind it, it makes sense. The reason that wood rejects the finish you put on it is that it is constantly changing humidity, expanding and contracting, with the changing of the seasons. If you seal the wood on all six sides, you seal in (or out) the moisture that is the cause of the problem; you prevent it from gaining and losing moisture thus keeping its shape thus hold and not breaking that bond with the finish. If you can manage to follow at least one of these guidelines, you will save yourself a pile of heartache for the life of your deck. If you are one of the ones who painted too soon and are in this merry go round of peeling and painting, painting and peeling, don’t worry, it’ll be over soon, your deck will be rotten before you know it. The rule I live by is: if it’s flat and it’s outdoors, don’t paint it. I never paint a horizontal wooden surface. Use a preserved or naturally repellant wood, like cedar, or manmade product and DON’T PAINT IT. This has been a public service announcement from Adams Home Services.
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