How To Keep Your Wooden Deck From Buckling Due To Sun Exposure

Your wooden deck deals with a lot of exposure throughout its lifetime. From rain and snow to extreme heat and sunshine, this area of your home has to withstand quite a bit during the years. While wear and tear is normal and happens to most decking, it can still be unsightly when it buckles, especially due to sun exposure. Replacing the whole unit might be an off-putting thought, especially if you only just installed it. Instead of throwing in the towel, there are a few things you can do to protect the wood to ensure it looks good and holds up longer.

Warped decking doesn't have to cost a fortune to swap out, and if some boards have succumbed to damage, you can easily flip them over and re-screw them in. This trick might not solve every issue, but it can save some money if the wood isn't too buckled. Tackling the issue before it gets to this point, however, is the best way to go, and the following suggestions might just be the difference between an uneven surface and a warped one. According to Tim Carter (aka Ask the Builder, via The Washington Post), most decking is made of treated wood, but while these pieces are great at withstanding moisture and insect damage, they weren't made to negate the sun's rays. Here's how to help keep everything in good condition despite the harsh elements.

Try a sealant

One way to help protect your wood decking from sun exposure is by applying a sealant. You don't have to invest in a tinted version that will change the color of your surface, but the substance will help keep UV rays from buckling the materials underneath. If you want to keep your wood the same color as when it was installed, opt for a clear sealant, and Seal Once recommends purchasing one that offers UV protection as well as fade-resistance. Both of these will work together to keep the decking fresh, protecting both the color and the timber itself.

Sealant works by covering the wood in a layer of weather-resistant adhesive that soaks up into the porous parts of the material. It can help keep out moisture and other detrimental factors, but sealant isn't completely foolproof. Sunshine can be very penetrative, and will eventually break down these layers, so it's important to reapply it regularly. PerĀ Seal Smart, you should do this once every three years minimum, but applying it once a year is more ideal.

Get a covering

Another way to ensure your wood decking stays in good condition is by adding a cover. Having something to block the intense UV rays that can beat down on the timber will ensure it lasts longer, and prevent buckling. W.A. Zimmer notes that covers are useful for keeping rain and things like leaves or moss off of the deck, but it also deters the heat from soaking into the boards. There are a variety on the market, and they range from slatted to full coverage that won't allow any sunshine to penetrate.

While the sun can be destructive over time, it doesn't mean you have to give up on your wood decking. Taking measures to keep out harmful rays will leave your outdoor space looking and feeling as good as the first day it was installed. You can also use both tactics, sealing the timber and then using a cover, to deter the worst of the UV rays.