Wooden wall with country gardens

Wood is perhaps the most commonly used material for a number of home and landscaping uses. But as we all know, wood can discolor, warp, crack, and show its age before long. The sun and rain can do serious damage over time, and you can’t exactly control those. So, what can you do to protect your decks, fences, posts, planter boxes, and other wood structures outside?

Luckily, it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Inspect structures yearly. Check for splitting and warping and repair any boards that have come loose on fences and decks.

Clean structures once or twice a year. Power washing can be helpful against mildew, pollen, and any other debris that has accumulated on wood structures. Use a cleaning solution specially made for decks if you want to restore the wood’s original beauty.

Check to see if the wood should be resealed. Pour a cup of water on the wood. If the water soaks in quickly, it’s time to reapply a sealant.

Apply a sealant, stain, or paint. You can choose from a number of options once you’ve decided to weather-proof a wood structure. Paint is great for adding color, but keep in mind that it will crack and peel over time. For that reason, paint is not recommended for decks.

A clear, water-repellent sealant will allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. However, because it does not contain pigment, the protection will only last about a year before you need to reapply the sealant.

A pigmented stain is your other option. It soaks into the wood, so you can add some color without the problems created by paint. And because of the natural UV protection offered by pigment, a stain offers better protection against the weathering effects of sunlight.

Whatever you choose, apply your sealant, stain, or paint after your wood structure has been cleaned and dried. Choose a sunny day with little to no wind, to improve drying time and prevent the job from becoming messy.

With proper care, wood structures will last many years. But at times they do need to be replaced. Call us to discuss your landscaping project, and we can help you choose durable materials and learn how to take care of them in the future.