There was this cool gust of wind tousling my hair; I look up to this craziness of nature: What?? Ahmm!! Spring has arrived; I see the swaying of trees and I follow the rain soaked dance of the leaves. Those red almost yellowish golden leaves floating in the air, Swirling in the cool breeze, turning and then falling just near my feet. I look down much captured in the breath- taking magical experience, However, the wear and tear, of the deck takes my attention and I ask my friend with whom I am drinking tea -what pushes him not to repair this beauty?
What I heard from him is what I hear all the time-
It’s a pain. It’s a bother. It’s a hassle.
Please I can’t be bothered to get this deck repaired & polished- again& again.
Ahhaa!! if you are a literary reader you will associate that phrases 1-3 are expressions of how one feel’s about getting the deck repaired, whereas phrase 4 is actually a refusal.
What’s even more alarming is that the majority of people don’t even know, what they’re supposed to be doing to take care of their wood – like cleaning & sealing it once in a while. Many deck owners like my dear friend believe that the wood used on their decks does not need added protection, only to find out too late that this is a costly assumption and then blame the wood supplier for repair.
Some even wail, groan, howl, complaint(seems I am short of expressions) that they were fooled into buying unseasoned deck wood. I will deal with this in later topics, it will be an eye opener in itself for all those interested.
The general greying of the decking which I hear from my complaining clients is usually the result of surface wood cells that have been broken down by UV radiation. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun discolors wood and breaks down its lignin, the natural glue that holds the fibers together causing greying and surface erosion.
You’ll first notice discoloration in the wood which eventually gives way to a “washed out” or grey color. What’s the real cause? Neglect ofcourse!
Before the advent of modern preservatives and synthetics, linseed oil was commonly used as a stand-alone preservative for wood, natural (hemp) rope, masonry, as a conditioner for natural boar’s hair paint brushes, and as an additive for oil paints. It was also valuable inside as a furniture finish and for wood floors. As if that wasn’t enough, it is used in soaps, inks, and in the production of linoleum!
But with modern times it was realized that coating decks with either straight linseed oil, boiled or raw, has its set of problems.
- A client of mine got his newly installed deck a final coating of linseed oil in rainy season and it was so sticky that it took forever to dry. Ughh… it’s a nightmare situation that happens too often when thick linseed oil is applied either (1) too thickly, (2) onto damp materials or (3) when the temperature is too cold.
- So removing it was the only option. He found that the two coats of linseed oil were gummy and difficult to remove fully for refinishing.
- Next season end he got linseed oil coating done after thinning it with turpentine. Helped somewhat, but multiple coats were required and each coat had to be left to dry before applying the next. And to top it he found it was not resistant to abrasions.
Like many it made my client realize that Linseed oil was really not a suitable deck floor preservative. I would second it- at least by today’s standards!!
All that was required or is required is a protection layer that is best suited to the lumber used to build that deck. Commercial sealants (some of which contain linseed or other drying oils) outperform “natural” linseed oil. And since these products tend to be relatively pricey, the buyer must weigh cost against durability and long useful life.
Wood that is properly cared will last more than 20 years! Wood decks should be thoroughly cleaned annually, and should be refinished as soon as the color starts to fade
As I read out this article in an inaugural opening of a commercial project of mine, I heard some whispering from the guests- What about the advent of wood substitutes? I smiled and I realized how deep the Composite decking has entered the market.. Some of these brands will give a proud “10-year warranty” but with all due respect that to me sends off warning bells and whistles. Doesn’t it ???what after ten years-??? Replacement is the only answer- Some of the products are too new for its longevity to have been accurately evaluated yet. But regardless, it is recommended to carefully read manufacturers’ labels before buying and installing and to ensure that the products have been tested.
I welcome both the suppliers to talk about polish/sealent to be applied and the user to let us all know his experience