Wooden decks face daily challenges against mother nature. Every rain drop, snowflake and sprinkling of hose water presents a threat. Home owners apply stains and paints to protect the wood and extend the lifespan of the deck. In this blog we highlight the importance of moisture protection. We describe the problems water creates. We also suggest the best practices for prevention of this type of deck damage.
What is Water Damage?
Water damage on decks describes a number of problems caused by water intrusion. Common water damage is mold, mildew, cracking, and rotting. All of these types of water damage cause a destructive process. The nature of water deck damage as well as the rate of progression depend on the specific type and condition of your deck.
Effects of Water Damage
It may seem strange to build an outdoor structure that suffers from weather. In reality, almost all materials eventually suffer from water damage if they aren’t treated properly. Water in general, acts as one of the most dangerous enemies of your home. For a wooden deck, water affects the strength of the structure and its boards.
Dry Rot– Unlike the name, dry rot is a fungus that feeds on excess moisture. Dry rot, if not treated immediately in the early stages, creates decay. The once hard wood turns soft and black as it decomposes.
Mold– Mold thrives in the shadier, less sunny areas of your deck. Once it infiltrates your wood, the growth leads to rot and permanent decay. Mold is usually green or black. Deck boards with mold often feel slimy.
Mildew– Mildew is a result of water damage that is similar to mold. However, instead of growing within the wood, mildew remains on the surface. Mildew creates patches of gray and white fungus.
Tension Cracks– Deck boards get wet and then dry out. As the moisture dries, the sun causes the wood to shrink. The tension from drying creates cracks in the wood. Small cracks here and there are ok. Although untreated cracks that are not sealed grow into bigger cracks. Eventually, the boards become so cracked they need replacing.
Solution for Water Damage
The best solution is prevention. If you build a new deck, make sure to seal the wood with a high-quality wood stain. Even a transparent stain works to keep water from penetrating the wood. This process needs repeating every couple of years. On the other hand, if your deck already suffers from water damage, the boards need repairing before you can stain. With a deck restoration deck technicians sand down the outer layers to clean and strip the damaged wood. Then, they seal the cracks. After repairs are made, they apply two even coats of self-priming, oil based stain.
A professionally sealed deck penetrates the wood, providing a protective coating or barrier against unwanted water infiltration. You’ll be able to tell because water will form beads on top of the wood. Instead of soaking through the wood, the stain protects your deck. Deck Ready provides many services designed to prevent deck damage.