Tips for Preserving Outdoor Wood Surfaces

Wooden decks, fences, and patio furniture are a joy when they are brand new. But without proper maintenance, these exterior surfaces can quickly look old and worn. Here are some suggestions for making sure your outdoor surfaces look as good as new year-round!


Several outdoor factors will affect how worn your wood becomes. Of course, erosion from rain water or moisture in soil around your surfaces is a huge factor. But exposure to the UV radiation from the sun will also cause lumber to wear away very slowly (this can even happen to your hardwood flooring in rooms with lots of light exposure). Hardwoods like redwood tend to fare better in outdoor situations than softwoods do. Other factors like insect damage and iron staining should also be considered.


If you have an older wood surface that you are not too concerned about preserving the look of, then applying a coat of motor oil will keep it from rotting and deter insects. While this is effective, you may not care for the darker hue this will produce in your wood. If you are interested in a more professional, finished look, then keep up with treating your wood surfaces regularly. Depending on the treatment material you use (stains, clear sealers, toners, etc.) you can go up to three years without having to reapply the treatment.


In addition to chemically treating exterior wood surfaces, such as a deck or patio, you also need to make sure they are free of dirt and debris. This is particularly true for decks or wood walking surfaces. After applying a wood cleaner, use a power washer in a sweeping motion to rinse the deck. Be mindful of the pressure level you are using so that you don’t overdo it and ruin your deck!


If you’re considering a brand new deck, fence, doors, or even vanities or cabinets, then the wood experts at Southern Lumber can help you choose the woods, tools, and services that are right for you. Visit our showroom in San Jose on Monterey Highway directly south of East Alma Avenue. Check out our website for more details.

Stay in touch

Value Statements: