How to Extend the Life of Wooden Decks?

How to Extend the Life of Wooden Decks?

Owning a wooden deck is a great way to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your home. However, wooden decks require proper maintenance to keep them looking beautiful and functioning safely for years to come. With some basic care and the right products, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your treasured deck. Follow these tips from the experts at Rhino Wood Repair.

Prevent and Repair Wood Rot 

The #1 Enemy: Moisture

One of the biggest threats to the structural integrity of a wood deck is rot caused by excess moisture penetration. This can happen from:

  • Humidity and rain exposure
  • Clogged drainage on or around the deck
  • Poor ventilation under the deck

Once moisture gets trapped in the wood, fungi start to grow and cause the decay known as wood rot. This severely compromises the load-bearing ability of deck boards and framing.

Inspection is Key

Regularly inspecting all areas of your deck is crucial for catching rot early when it is easier to remedy. Use a flathead screwdriver to poke exterior wood surfaces - if the tool easily penetrates more than 1/8 inch, rot is likely present. Also check for:

  • Spongy or crumbly wood texture
  • Dipping or sagging deck boards
  • Brown, gray or white discolouration

Repair Rotted Wood with Proven Products

If you do discover rotted wood areas, don't fret - Rhino Wood Repair has professional-grade products to restore the damage. The company's epoxy wood restorers actually get harder than original wood once cured, rebuilding structural strength.

Proper Cleaning and Sealing

Cleaning and sealing your deck on a regular schedule is one of the easiest ways to protect against wood rot and premature aging. Build these steps into your annual deck maintenance:

  1. Spring Cleaning - Use a deck cleaner solution and stiff brush to remove built-up grime, mildew, and debris from all deck surfaces.
  2. Sanding - For optimum new seal penetration, lightly sand after cleaning.
  3. Sealing - Apply a fresh coat of highly-rated exterior wood sealer or stain. This protective coating blocks moisture absorption.
  4. Winter Prep - At season's end, clean off Fall debris and re-seal any worn areas before Winter arrives.

Consider a Waterproof Deck System

For new deck builds or major restorations, maximize protection by installing an integrated waterproof decking system like Rhino's DuraDeck. This UV-resistant membrane seamlessly covers the entire walking surface and is guaranteed against leaks for decades. No more dealing with rot!

Extend with Add-On Features

In addition to basic wood care, strategically adding the right accessories to your deck design can vastly improve its longevity:

  • Pergolas or awnings shield against harsh sun & rain
  • Deck drainage systems promote water run-off
  • Under-deck drainage and ventilation panels prevent moisture build-up below
  • Benches, planters & railings protect edges & stairs

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Extend the Life of Wooden Decks?

How often should I re-seal or re-stain my deck?: Most professional deck contractors recommend cleaning and re-sealing wood decks every 1-2 years depending on weather exposure. However with Rhino wood repair products, your wooden deck lifespan increases by over double that!

Can rotted boards just be replaced?: Spot board replacement is possible with minor, localized rot. But widespread fungal decay means the entire deck's structural integrity could be compromised, requiring full demolition and re-building.

Is composite decking better than wood?: Composite and PVC deck boards are rot-resistant, but the framing underneath can still develop fungal rot over time. Investing in complete wood repair, sealing and drainage is recommended for all deck materials.

About the Author - How to Extend the Life of Wooden Decks?

This deck life-extension guide was created in partnership with Robin Pixner, Owner and Chemist at Rhino Wood Repair. With over 30 years of experience developing industrial-strength wood repair products, Robin's epoxy and waterproof systems give contractors and homeowners the longest lasting defense against wood rot and deterioration. Rhino's proven solutions can be found at major home improvement retailers across North America.

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