How do I take care of my outdoor project?
So you’ve just installed your outdoor project, and then it happens — you look around at your neighbor’s fences and notice that they’re discolored. Falling apart. Warped. And you think to yourself, “Great…how long until this happens to my new gazebo?”
The good news is that there are some simple steps that you can take to keep your wood in top condition:
1. Choose quality wood
You can’t uphold the quality of materials if it isn’t there in the first place. One of the most important decisions you can make is in the type of wood you use to construct pieces. We typically recommend using [cedar], as it’s [durable and holds up well outdoors]. This isn’t the place to save a few bucks — if you choose a cheap wood, it’s just not going to hold up.
2. Use a wood preservative
Wood preservatives are incredibly important to protect your project from fungi and insects that would harm your wood. Without it, your more likely to see discoloration from mold or damage from insects like termites.
3. Apply water repellant
Water repellant is exactly what it sounds like — and it’s important to keep your wood from cracking or warping. It also works with preservatives to deny moisture to different types of fungi that needs water to grow (and damage your wood).
4. Pick the right sealers and stains
You can find sealers and stains that are available in clear, tinted, or semi-transparent, and solid colors. Each type provides a different look, but they all function to help your preservatives and repellants last longer. Often, repellants and preservatives will last until the stain/sealer starts to wear off, which can be up to eight years with the right quality product.
5. Follow directions
One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to the label. There, you’ll learn how often you need to apply whatever you’re using, and how to properly dispose the unused materials. Some products require certain types of brushes for application, and different times to let the product settle on the wood. Also, since preservatives classified as pesticides, there are strict regulations for applying and disposing preservatives.
6. Keep the wood clean
A dirty project is going to deteriorate faster. Even with projects that have been made using composite decking (often touted as “maintenance-free”) need to be cleaned. Just because a product doesn’t need sealing or staining doesn’t mean that it can’t develop mold or mildew.
Need maintenance tips?
When we build something, we build it to last. That’s why we work with each customer on maintenance plans for their projects — and we’re always available to consult on how to properly care for your new addition.