Sustainable solutions to decking problems
People who live in cities will tell you just how valuable space can be. Having a backyard is a real treat; and having a deck is the cherry on top of the sundae. While a deck is a great way to experience the outdoors, it does come at a price. Many individuals choose to go with a classic wood deck. Although wood decks are beautiful, they can be fairly high-maintenance and not very environmentally-friendly to maintain.
Just follow these simple, sustainable solutions to some of the most common decking problems:
Before you begin it is important to test your deck to get a better idea of whether or not water-resistant wood has been used to build it. To test the wood, pour a small amount of water onto the surface of your dry deck. If the water beads, then your deck is still in good shape. If the water stops beading and seeps into the wood you will need to seal your deck.
When it comes to sealants most people think of the forbidden c-word - chemicals. The reality is as we move toward a greener world many companies have come up with sustainable treatment options made from all natural ingredients, such as hemp-oil, to stain decks. Check with your local hardware store for nature-based wood stains. You may be surprised how many you find.
As your deck begins to age it may be tempting to try and slap a coat of paint on it to make it look “brand new.” However, that is only a solution to one symptom of a deeper problem. About nine times out of 10 fading color in your wood is due to the use of cleaning products that strip the organic material of its natural luster and shine. To help maintain your wood’s luster try cleaning it with an oil-based soap, or by adding a little lemon oil to your bucket of water. You will definitely notice the difference.
Typically these are the problems deck owners fear the most. Board rot and structural damage can be costly to repair, but if you follow the above steps you can help to prevent against this problem. Also periodically check underneath your deck and search for any warning signs such as loose connections or cracks in the structure. If you see some of the boards in the deck have begun to rot, you will need to clear away all of the old wood and replace it.
If your deck was not built using durable, low-maintenance wood, the reality is no matter how many times you perform the above steps you may eventually have to replace it. When you do, consider constructing a new deck with a sustainable alternative to traditional tropical hardwoods, which lasts much longer, is warp-resistant and weathers exquisitely. Additionally, not only is the wood sourced in a more eco-friendly way, but the bio-based solutions infused into the wood to make it more durable are also less harmful to the environment.
About the Author
Adrian Pyeis the International Sales Director of Kebony, a sustainable real-wood alternative to tropical hardwoods used in decks, patios, and boardwalks around the world. Get in touch with Adrian and his team here.
Guest Blogger These columns are the work of our guest bloggers who want to share their expert green opinions on a range of topics.