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What Leaves Can Do to Your Deck Wood

What Leaves Can Do to Your Deck Wood

As a backdrop to fall travel or enjoying the peaceful retreat of your backyard, there's nothing like the beauty of autumn leaves. Trouble is, they can cause issues for deck staining and maintenance. Here's what to look for and how to correct the damage.

How Leaves Can Affect Your Deck Wood

Added Weight

Leaves probably don't come to mind when thinking of things that could weigh down your deck. But their weight adds up as leaf piles become more dense due to settling. If their weight and volume grow enough, leaves can collapse portions of your decking. The way to most readily solve this problem is proactive leaf removal. But even if you remove leaves before their weight causes a problem for your decking boards and structural support, they may have caused other damage to the boards and finishes.

Leaf-Shaped Stains

Tree oils are acidic. If fallen leaves are left unattended on your decking, those oils will leech out and deteriorate the finishing of your decking. Depending on how long the leaves have been there, you may even notice leaf-shaped impressions where the color has lightened or changed. This damage is noticeable within a week and worsens as leaves decay. It also gets harder to remove tree oil damage over time, especially on porous material like wooden decking.

Fallen leaves are doing more than just leaving unsightly discoloration. That change in color is a visible sign that your deck sealants have deteriorated and aren't performing as they should. That means wherever leaves have damaged decking, your decking is now more vulnerable to moisture damage and all the problems that brings.

Rotted Wood

Decaying foliage molds over time. That mold spreads. Fallen leaves also trap water, which accelerates wood rot and deterioration. If standing water doesn't have a means to evaporate or drain from your deck due to a pile of leaves blocking water and holding it in place, the wood itself can crack, crumble, and become unsalvageable. Removing leaves as soon as possible makes it easier to detect signs of wood rot (including deterioration, mushroom-like growths, or a musty smell), and prompt attention to the rotted wood will prevent it from spreading and causing more substantial decking damage.

Proactive Deck Repair and Refinishing

Leaf removal is a great strategy for prolonging the life of your decking. But if you've been traveling or were unaware of the problems leaves can pose for decks, you can still address any of the most common issues leaves pose for decking with proactive repair and deck refinishing services from qualified exterior painting contractors. Here are some things you could plan for to improve your decking appearance and extend its longevity.

  • Deep Cleaning: Pressure washing services are ideal for deep cleaning the wood of your decking so you can remove deteriorating paint, stains, and finishes. It also gets rid of mold, dirt, and other contaminants so you get a clear picture of the shape your decking wood is in. Once this service is done, decking will be prepped for best results from natural wood finishing and new stain application.

  • Wood Rot Repair: If leaves have caused wood rot, wood rot repair and replacement is critical for long-term deck restoration. Rotted boards will be replaced and prepped along with the rest of the surface so that all decking boards are uniform in strength, texture, and appearance before moving to the next phase of your project.

  • Deck Refinishing: Applying new wood stains is an exciting part of deck ownership; it’s like getting a whole new deck every 2-3 years. Choosing a stain that matches the wood type is always a good choice to bring out its natural beauty. Adding more coats will give you a greater depth of color and coverage. But one coat of professional-grade stain will be enough to shield your wood from moisture and damage if you’d prefer more of the wood grain to peek through.

Now Is an Ideal Time to Protect Your Deck

Along with fortifying your wood against falling leaves and moisture, deck staining in the fall is a great choice thanks to the mild temperatures and low humidity. These characteristics of autumn weather make fall an ideal season for deck refinishing. If possible, schedule your decking projects in advance, since it’s a peak time of year for this important project.

Book Your Fall Decking Projects in Advance

Trico Painting is ready to take on your decking project to help beautify your deck this fall. With long-lasting results you’ll be proud to show off, we're the trusted team for Roseville, CA house painting and HOA painting projects. Enjoy the mild fall weather and striking scenery on a deck that's stronger and more beautiful than ever. Contact Trico Painting for your deck refinishing estimate today.