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October 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Getting Outdoor Wood Surfaces Ready for Winter


Do you find it hard to keep on top of the upkeep of your patio and garden areas? Is the weather and heat wreaking havoc on your once-attractive decking, planter boxes and benches? What about your fencing, is it sagging, falling down or propped up with a beam? We understand that, we have a deck of our own, complete with wooden furniture!

It has been so hot lately that it is hard to believe that October starts tomorrow, and fall, followed by winter, is already here! But ready or not, here it comes! Be ready for the cooler days and wet weather that is right around the corner by getting your outdoor wood materials “signed, SEALED and delivered!”

Here are some ideas to insure that your decks, fences, benches, planter boxes, gates and all wooden outdoor surfaces are ready for winter weather.

1. Clean wooden surfaces of dirt, stains, and wear. UV light (i.e. the sun) breaks down the top levels of wood. You don’t want to apply any coating or sealant until the wood looks fresh and new again. We recommend a quick wash with either a power pressure washer or a stiff bristled broom. If you use a pressure washer, get one that delivers 1,200 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure or less, with a spray nozzle that fans an arc of water of about 25-40 degrees. This needs to be a QUICK wash, since softer woods, and the grain of the wood, can be damaged or eroded by power sprays. If you use a stiff fiber bristle brush (heavy duty push broom), scrub the surface with a mix of water and laundry detergent, rinsing afterward. With both techniques you need to allow the surfaces to dry for several days (we recommend a week to ten days) before applying any finish.

2. Discolored. If your deck or planter boxes (or whatever wood surfaces you are working with) is graying or looking dark and splotched, an acid wash is recommended. You will need to buy pre-mixed oxalic acid deck brightener, or buy the oxalic acid crystals and prepare the solution yourself. BE CAUTIOUS! You MUST wear protective clothing, eye protection, and gloves to be safe. If this method appeals to you, but you don’t want to try it yourself – please give us a call, we can do it safely and efficiently, with the proper tools. Again, after acid washing, your wood surfaces must be allowed to dry completely.

3. Ready for sealant. Now your wood surfaces are prepped and ready for the next step – sealant. There are many ways and methods of sealing. Some of these are:

Before cleaning & sealant

*Clear Sealant

*Tinted Sealant (which is what we recommend)

*Wood paint

After cleaning & sealan

*Wood stain

Take your time in applying sealants and stains; if done correctly, the sealant or stain will save your wood for years to come,and save you time and money in the long run.

4. Don’t Forget Other Surrounding Items. Remember, clean and treat ALLyour outdoor wood – planter boxes, benches, and even your fencing and gates. They will benefit greatly, last much longer, with attentive care.

5. Replace or Fix. If you have broken boards, (or if you have a few loose screws!) NOW is the time to replace and fix them, so that when the cleaning and sealing is done, all the boards will look the same, for your continued enjoyment in future years.

Recently Replaced Deck by The Fix-It Professionals

Working in our yards, on our patios and decks, keeping our fencing sturdy and our planter boxes functional may be an ongoing task, but by starting now, and taking your time to do it right, you will have a yard of which to be proud!

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