Refinish Your Naples, Florida-Area Dock or Deck
Docks and decks take significant abuse from the elements in southwest Florida. These exterior surface areas can easily be overlooked and neglected by homeowners and businesses. Perhaps it’s because the bulk of dock and deck surface areas are horizontal rather than vertical. This tends to limit their prominence as a feature of a home or business and can obscure signs of neglect. The idea of re-finishing horizontal surfaces may also seem more daunting than that of addressing vertical ones.
Long-term neglect of wooden dock and deck surface areas eventually takes a toll and shortens their life span. If nothing else, constant exposure to the sun, rainfall, and other elements will discolor the wood. Eventually the elements will cause the wood to crack and warp, spur mold and mildew growth, cause wood rot, and otherwise deteriorate its condition. This is especially true with saltwater docks, which face the additional threat posed by exposure to the deteriorating elements found in saltwater.
Prolong the Life-Span of Your Dock or Deck
The easiest way to prolong the life-span of your dock or deck is to keep it clean and reapply stain and/or sealants annually. Even if you have been neglecting such maintenance with your dock or deck for many years, its weathered surface may be brought back to life with dock and deck refinishing work. Some wood may need replacing in such cases, and the prep work needed is typically much more extensive.
How to Prep your Dock or Deck for Refinishing
To successfully tackle this job, start by stripping and removing any old peeling, chipped paints and sealers and then clean the dock or deck surfaces with a scrub brush and soap, or with a pressure washer. If using a pressure washer, take care to avoid damaging the wood by using a fan-tip nozzle and keeping it at least a foot away from the surface. Additionally, if the surface wood is made from pine, cedar, or other softwood, keep the pressure below 600 psi.
Once clean, carefully inspect your dock or deck for damage, stains, and other problems. Replace any small areas showing wood rot with new lumber (and consider a re-build if such wood rot is extensive). Boards that are warping, bending, splitting, or splintering should also be replaced. Remove or re-bed any loose screws, nails or other hardware and tackle any rust or other stains with homemade or commercial stain removers.
To ensure the best penetration and adhesion of your chosen stain, paint, and/or sealant, lightly sand surfaces of any newly installed wood, rough patches, or areas still showing staining or other residue. Last, make sure to remove any wood dust from the sanding by using a leaf blower or broom.
You’re Ready to Apply the Stain and/or Sealant
Make sure you carefully read the instructions for applying your chosen stain and/or sealant. Drying and curing times widely vary and many stains should not be applied in direct sunlight as it dries the stain before it properly penetrates. Instructions also provide other tips for ensuring the best application with the particular stain or sealant.
Or Consult with a Professional Naples, FL Painting Company
If this all sounds like too much of a time commitment for your busy schedule, consult with FCI Painting for a free quote on the job. We’ve successfully refinished hundreds of docks in decks in the Naples, Florida-area during our 25 years of professional service. To learn more, contact FCI Painting online, or by giving us a call at (239) 435-1001.