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Wood, Composite & Concrete Care

All products that are exposed to the elements will need some kind of care regardless of the manufacturer's recommendations or any other claims to the contrary. Please understand the difference between the maintenance free and low maintenance products. There are no maintenance free products in our industry. Exposure to the sun means you will have a need for protective coatings on all surfaces if the product is wood, siding or trim. I will attempt to describe the maintenance procedures of the main products we sell, but this should not be perceived as an exhaustive list by any means and updates could apply daily as newer products are updated and re-mastered. Climate will affect the use of any product and the suggestions given on this web site will apply to Colorado and more specifically to the Denver metro area.

Composite and Cap-Stock Decks -

Prevention is always easier than maintenance; a BBQ mat is a quick and affordable prevention tool to keep from dealing with the oil and grease spots, which can occur with normal use. Oil stains usually are permanent, but can be avoided in most cases.

All composite type decking materials will need to be cleaned on a regular basis with a standard water hose. Spraying the deck off in the spring and fall months when it is warm is always suggested. Avoid using water on the deck if the temperature is below 50 degrees. Do not walk on an icy deck surface.

Soap and water may be used when spills occur. A light soap like Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is quite concentrated but will not damage the plastic surface or surface texture. You may use a medium bristle broom or scrub brush, but be sure not to scratch or mar the surface with too much pressure. Rinse the entire surface several times thoroughly to dissipate any soap residue. A warm deck is easier to clean in most cases.

Chemical solvents and cleaners may damage the composite decking, stair and railing parts. Combining two or more products may be dangerous and cause damage to the product and the users. Basic soap and water is suggested in most cases if water alone doesn't clean the area the first time.

Sanding, scraping and using heat or abrasive products should be avoided whenever possible. Dents and scratches are normal and will usually fade over time if they are in direct sunlight.

PVC Coated Composite Decks -

Many chemicals will damage the PVC surface, texture or the product sheen of the material being used. Do not ever use cleaners or chemicals of any kind on your deck, unless you personnally know the products limitations and effects on these materials and or completely trust the sourse of the information referenced. Once the chemicals have damaged the PVC coating, you cannot restore the material to its original condition.

All PVC coated composite type decking materials will need to be cleaned of dirt and debris on a regular basis with a standard water hose and a push broom. Spraying the deck off in the spring and fall months when it is warm is always suggested. Avoid using water on the deck if the temperature is below 50 degrees. Do not walk on an icy deck surface, or if you have sprayed the deck off when the temporature is less than 50 degrees. All plastics can be very slippery when wet or icy.

Soap and water may be used when spills occur. A light soap like Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is quite concentrated but will not damage the plastic surface or surface texture. You may use a medium bristle broom or scrub brush, but be sure not to scratch or mar the surface with too much pressure. Rinse the entire surface several times thoroughly to dissipate any soap residue. This process will be easier and take less time if the temporature outside is above 70 degrees.

Chemical solvents and cleaners may damage the composite portion that is under the PVC or what is considered the base of the decking, stair and railing parts. Combining two or more products may be dangerous and cause damage to the decking product and the users. Basic soap and water is suggested in most cases if water alone doesn't clean the area the first time.

Sanding, scraping and using heat or abrasive products should be avoided whenever possible. Dents and scratches are a normal occurance over time.

Stamped Concrete Patios -

Concrete will remain porous forever, so oils and other liquids will penetrate the surface and may stain the surface of any patio or concrete surface. A high quality concrete sealer should be applied 28 to 30 days after the stamped concrete is poured and reapplied according to manufactures recommendations. If an improper sealer is used or the sealer is applied incorrectly, it may cost up to four times more to strip the sealer and re-seal the concrete surface. Quality concrete sealers are specialized products and should be purchased from a concrete products supplier and not a hardware store or home improvement outlet.

Patio Covers; Siding and Trim -

Most soffit, eave, siding and trim parts are primed at the factory, but should be primed after construction because of the cut ends and edges, which occur to fit pieces together. It is always a good idea to primer the product within a couple weeks of construction, weather permitting, and allow the primer to fully cure before applying the paint. All products used in this application expand and contract with heat variation and weather, so it is a good idea to use a flexible caulk or spackling. All products should be applied when it is warm.

Redwood and Cedar Decks -

Redwood dries out in our climate differently than other woods and will need to be sealed more frequently. It is always a good idea to seal the deck surface material at least once a year. The frequency will depend on the product being used. Most oil based sealers are complex and include more than one type of oil. Please read the directions thoroughly before using any product and ask questions if you are unsure how to apply.

If a deck sealer or stain is applied incorrectly or unevenly the cost to fix the problem or sand down the deck can often get quite expensive. It is always a good idea to have the deck serviced by a professional if you have a lack of experience with these type of products and their applications.

Please call Steve Tussing at American Redwood Deck Care to satisfy this need at (303) 885-9766.

For the do-it-yourselfer please contact Philip at (303) 730-9642 or email him at the Deck Answerman , who will provide you with some guidelines you can follow.

Tropical Hardwood Decks -

Tropical hardwood decks are becoming increasingly popular in today's markets. Some will come into the United States with a wax coating and will need to be exposed to the sun for several months before an oil based sealer will penetrate the pours and fibers of the wood. Consult a professional if you are unsure of the product used on your deck or the present finish. The extreme dry climate in Colorado tends to increase the drying process leading to increased bows, twisting, cupping and cracking in most cases and applications.

It is a good idea to maintenance these decks early and often. Although the applications and type of sealers vary for this type of product, the process to protect hardwoods can get laborious. If the oils stay on the surface too long, people and animals will carry it into the house and dirt particles in the air will gather on the surface of the deck. If the wrong products are used then the oils may not dry properly or if the application is not even, then the appearance will look inconsistent. It is suggested to have the deck serviced by a professional if you lack experience with hardwood finishes.

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