Ipe Lumber – Decking Materials
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Over time the surface of your deck can deteriorate and accumulate dirt, mold and mildew. When that happens, you’ll need to clean it.
First, examine the deck for problems. One of the first ones you might notice is nailheads’ popping out of the planks as a result of the contraction and expansion of the wood during summer and winter. Often you can drive the nails back down with a hammer. If that doesn’t work, pry out the nail and replace it with a galvanized deck screw.
Check for rotten areas in the lumber by pushing a screwdriver into any wood that looks as though it might have deteriorated. If the screwdriver goes in without much resistance, the wood is rotten and must be replaced.
Splintered areas should be lightly sanded until smooth. If you discover a board with a large split, try gluing it with epoxy and clamping it in place until the epoxy has cured.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun turns decks gray if they’re not protected. To remove the gray, wash your deck with a commercially available deck-cleaning detergent. Place plastic over any nearby plants, and apply the cleaner with a garden sprayer, Allow the cleaner to soak for 10 to 15 minutes, and use a brush to scrub any problem areas. Rinse the deck with a garden hose, and reapply the deck cleaner as necessary.
After the deck is clean, use a garden sprayer to apply a water repellent that offers ultraviolet protection. Although you don’t need to apply a sealant every year, you should clean your deck every spring.
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