Spring officially started last week, but you wouldn’t know it from the Northwest’s rainy skies. Meteorologists are saying the city is on track for a particularly wet, cool spring that may end up in the record books, news station KGW reported.
By mid-March, Portland had already received a full month’s worth of rainfall, and so far it’s not showing any signs of letting up.
For Northwest homeowners, this means cedar decking and wood fences in Portland and surrounding areas have been exposed to more moisture than usual this year. While a properly sealed deck or wood fence installation should be able to withstand the extra rain, homeowners may have some additional maintenance to do once the weather warms up. Here’s a look at how Portland’s cold, wet spring might affect your wood fence or deck:
Mold and mildew growth. Because mold, mildew and algae thrive on moisture, chances are they’ve gained a strong foothold on your wood fence or deck this year. Mildew and algae tend to discolor the wood black or green, and if left unchecked, it can rapidly spread and threaten the health of your fence or deck. Be prepared to wage war with oxygen bleach and a soft-bristled brush. Add one cup of the bleach to one gallon of water, and scrub until the wood comes clean.
Rot. Excessive moisture can accelerate wood rot, so you’ll want to check the structural integrity of your deck or fence installation. Inspect important supporting posts, rails and beams for weakness in the wood. One way to check for rot is to poke the wood with a screwdriver; if it goes through the wood easily, you probably have a problem.
Stain integrity. After the constant bombardment of rain, now is a good time to test the stain on your cedar deck or wood fence installation to make sure it’s still effective. Spray the wood with a hose, and see if the water beads up or soaks in. If it soaks in, make a note to restain once the weather warms up.