Unfortunately, the sun's harsh rays can make your decking wear out before the end of its life expectancy. However, there are things that you can do to protect your deck from the sun's rays. Regardless of your budget or the amount of time you have, here are some tips to consider:
1. Choose treated decking.
Protecting your deck starts before it's even installed. If you're putting in new decking, look for wood that has been pressue treated to withstand the elements. That will give your decking the protection it needs to resist damage from the sun and other elements.
2. Apply a UV-protective coating or sealant.
Whether you are buying a new deck or trying to protect an existing one, apply a coat of UV-protective sealant. Before applying it, make sure to clean the deck thoroughly. Otherwise, dirt and debris will prevent the sealant from adhering correctly.
If your decking is very worn out or if it has developed a patina in a colour that you don't like, you can seal it from the elements with paint. This protects your decking and gives it a bit of style at the same time. Make sure that the paint is designed for use outside and that it is UV resistant in particular.
3. Shade your deck.
If possible, try to keep the sun off your deck with some shading. You can hang a sun sail over your deck. You can add a retractable awning to the side of your home and pull it out to cover the deck as needed, or you can even hang outdoor panel curtains or shades over your deck to prevent the sun from reaching it.
4. Keep off the water.
The sun doesn't work on its own when it comes to damaging your deck. Instead, it works in tandem with water. Essentially, the water gets into the boards of your decking causing it to expand. Then, the sun dries it out and causes it to contract. As a result, your decking may start warping, blistering, cracking and showing other signs of damage.
To keep off the water, make sure that you opt for a waterproof sunshade. For example, you don't want water to be able to penetrate your awning or sunshade. Alternatively, cover your decking with a waterproof tarp before rain is forecast.
For more tips and ideas on protecting your decking from the sun's harsh rays, contact a decking dealer (like Australian Lawn Wholesalers).