With temperatures on the rise and summertime just around the corner, many homeowners start to inquire about best practices to maintain a redwood deck and retain the natural color of fences and other structures built with redwood lumber. In some cases, whether you keep your redwood unfinished ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, the overall maintenance and restoring of redwood’s beautiful color is a relatively simple process.
Over time, natural elements such as dirt, UV light, and rain will naturally weather all woods. Additionally, mildew, extractive bleeding and iron can stain the wood, causing discoloration. These factors do not diminish the strength and durability of the redwood; nevertheless, consumers and do-it-yourselfers want to find out how to best care for the redwood structures they so lovingly built for backyard enjoyment.
A pressure washer or stiff bristle brush and scrubbing will usually power away dirt and mildew. Yet, ideally, before scrubbing with fresh water, applying mild detergent will make the cleansing process much easier. Treatment for extractive bleeding and iron stains follows a similar process. Washing and rinsing affected areas with a special wood brightening product or oxalic acid combined with bleach and water can help restore the natural look of redwood. Bear in mind, it may be best to monitor the area for several days as further extractives may find their way to the surface after cleansing.
Afterward, you might consider refinishing redwood with a high-quality stain. Apply a clear or semi-transparent stain with a UV protection using a roller or brush. For best results, keep children, pets and guests from touching or walking on newly stained sections for a few days and/or until completely dry.