Decked out for summer: What you need to know to keep your deck in tip-top shape

Preparation and the right product are key

Warm, dry days are made for being outdoors, and here on the Saanich Peninsula, there’s a good chance some of that time will be spent on the deck.

If like many homeowners you’ve embraced the beauty of wood for your decking material, you’ll also need to book some maintenance time. How frequent that maintenance will be needed depends on a few factors, including the materials you’ve selected and their location, explains Windsor Plywood Keating manager Joshua Farquharson.

“It’s not that one product is better than the other, it’s a matter of how much maintenance you want to do and the look you want to achieve,” Farquharson explains.

Here’s what you need to know:

How you maintain your deck depends first and foremost on what’s there now. Typically homeowners have three main options.

• An oil finish that sinks into the wood but doesn’t leave a film on the surface – Penofin is a typical product you might use for this, Farquharson says. This would likely need to be reapplied every second year in our climate.

• A varnish-type product such as Sico-Prolux (formerly Sikkens) lasts longer between re-finishing – typically about three years – but has a less natural appearance. “If you want a nice, shiny varnished look, you’ll need that kind of product. When it does fail, you’ll start to see cracking on the surface, and that will need to be sanded before the new coat is applied,” Farqharson says.

• LifeTime is a wood treatment that prematurely greys the wood, while preventing rot. While some will leave cedar to weather naturally in the mistaken belief that its natural oils protect it, it’s not a good idea. “You can get 20 or 30 years out of a finished cedar deck, but left unfinished, it’s about five years,” Farquharson says. With LifeTime you can get the best of both worlds.

If you don’t know what’s currently on the deck’s surface, it’s best to clean it then sand it down to the bare wood and start fresh, Farquharson says.

If you do know the existing finish, and you’re happy to re-apply the same product, a good clean surface is the best first step. Avoid pressure washing, which can break the wood fibres, but look to a product like 30 Second Cleaner to help get rid of mildew and dirt. From there, sand the surface as needed to prepare a clean, dry surface that will take the new treatment.

Before you decide which product is right for your location and our climate, it’s always best to talk to the experts, Farquharson says, pointing out that some brands that may be marketed here aren’t well-suited to a coastal climate. “We have a very specific climate with warm, wet winters and products that might work on the Prairies or in Eastern Canada simply don’t work here.”

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read