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Protect Your Cedar Decking from the Rain

Fall Rain

The long rainy season of the Pacific Northwest is almost upon us, have you prepared your fence and deck for winter? Has your cedar deck lost its luster? Has your cedar fence started to gray? It is not too late to repair the damage. We recommend staining your deck every one to two years, and your fence every four to five years. This will not only bring back the wood’s natural beauty, but it will also help protect it from weathering and rot.

Untreated cedar will start to biodegrade, severely shortening the life of your outdoor project. The extremely wet Pacific Northwest weather fosters mold and mildew growth that can accelerate the natural aging of cedar. Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking’s stain is made in the Northwest for the Northwest. Covering your project with our stain will help to ensure its long and healthy life.

Why treat cedar? Western Red Cedar and other cedars are certainly resistant to rot, but they are not 100% immune. End pieces, as well as pieces that are close to the ground, are particularly vulnerable to rot. Also, the extreme weather conditions of the Pacific Northwest take their toll. Extreme summer heat tends to dry out and splinter wood decks and fences, while lingering moisture fosters mildew and mold growth.

At Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking we use Port Orford cedar for our decking. Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is especially rot-resistant, and is stronger than Western Red Cedar. Native to a narrow strip of land along the North California and Oregon Coast, Port Orford cedar is a unique species known for being hardy and strong, yet as durable as other members of the cedar family. Port Orford cedar is renowned for its beauty as well as its structural integrity, and is used as a building material in boats, musical instruments, Japanese architecture, clothing chests, and fences and decks.

Like all cedars, Port Orford cedar benefits from the application of a penetrating, semi-transparent oil-based stain, which extends the life of the deck by repelling water, blocking harmful UV rays, and blocking mildew and mold growth. The bottom line is that regularly staining your Port Orford deck will make it last longer.

Here are a few tips for staining your Port Orford cedar decking:

- A new deck needs a few weeks to let the timber’s pores open up before the wood is ready to accept the stain. To see if the wood is able to accept the stain, do a “water test”-  if the wood absorbs a few drops of water than it is ready.

- Port Orford Cedar decks that are 4 to 5 years old can be sanded 1/8 of an inch to restore a “new wood” look.

- Always make sure the deck is clean and dry before staining.

- Staining works best at temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are a couple other things to keep in mind while maintaining your Port Orford cedar deck. First, go easy and don’t overdo sanding. Second, don’t apply too much stain, as it will lead to an uneven texture. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a superb stain.

Don’t wait to protect your cedar decking. Port Orford Cedar’s natural resilience and structural strength make it one of the most sought after timber products in the world, but its lifespan can be expanded significantly by proper protection, including the application of an oil-based stain available through Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking.

[ Photo by: matthewthecoolguy, via CC License ]

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