Maintaining Your Stuff- Why Clean and Seal Wood?
Sealing wood, especially exterior woods, helps to:
- Hold water out so it doesn't SWELL when it gets wet and SHRINK when it dries. This "Dimensional Instability" causes cracking, cupping and twisting.
- Keep mold, mildew and wood-rot organisms from colonizing your wood so that its visible beauty, structural integrity and ultimate useful life is extended.
-Improve the beauty of the wood to our eyes. We like youth and healthiness and adding oils to our exterior woods helps keep them YOUNG AND HEALTHY!
In the "soft woods" category, Redwood and Western Red Cedar are considered as the best and most beautiful of naturally occurring wood types. Beyond being naturally insect and disease resistant, they are rare, too (Redwood because of the limited Coastal regions it naturally grows in; Cedar because it grows within forests as infill trees, not dense similar specie groupings); hence they are more pricey than other softwood species like Pine, Spruce and Fir. Their Tannin content builds with age, bringing acidic bitterness and generating insect and decay resistance as well as "Redness Color". Structures of these specie last longer outdoors than others, but being more durable does not mean they won’t benefit from man-brought protective additives, like Sealers (Sun Frog!).
"Exotic" or Hard Woods-
Hard Woods don't have the hollow core wood cell structure that Softwoods have and they accordingly don't absorb much sealer, making re-application more frequent. SEALING HARD WOOD STILL HELPS THOUGH, especially for aesthetic value. Without sealing, your hardwoods will grey quickly from Mildew and UV damage on its surface. It's natural color is covered in grey, quickly!
Staining and sealing Cedar, Redwood, Hardwoods and indeed ALL SPECIES helps to enhance the look of your woods and prolong their useful lives.
If you can, Seal Only Good Looking Wood. If its older and grey, Clean It First!
Sealing old, weathered wood, while it may still bring the benefits of Water Repellency, Rot Resistance and Dimensional Stability (less twisting and cracking), will not make your woods look as good as they can. Clean It First! Sun Frog's Deck Cleaner, a strong powdered detergent makes cleaning your outdoor woods affordable and reasonably easy. After Cleaning and Sealing your woods will look good, too. More dangerous (caustic) and expensive products like Strippers are then only then necessary where Paints, Solid Body Stains and hard, shiny, varnish like finishes exist. Note: Mold and mildew also grow on outdoor woods and our Deck Cleaner removes those in the Cleaning process too, even if you don't seal afterwards. Deck Cleaner is also great for Painted Surfaces (houses) to ready them for re-painting, Concrete surfaces like patio's walkways and retaining walls (to remove dirt and algae), boats, awnings, etc. Indeed, Deck Cleaner is great for any exterior hard surface that you want to keep clean, safe, and looking good! Got really grungy clothes from working on your prized '56 Chevy? Launder them with our Deck Cleaner!!!
Choose the Right Day
The ideal day for Cleaning or Sealing is a warm sunny day. Allow several days after cleaning for your wood to re-dry and DO NOT SEAL WET OR DAMP WOOD! Lack of "thirsty-ness" by the wood will result in less product penetrating, which will dramatically reduce the benefit of your work. ALSO, SEAL ONLY IF TWO OR MORE DRY DAYS ARE TO BE EXPECXTED AFTER YOUR SEALING DAY, especially on horizontal surfaces, so your sealer can fixate in the wood and be un-moved by later water. Check the weather predictions before sealing and schedule your work accordingly. SEAL CLEAN, GOOD LOOKING WOOD WHEN DRY AND YOUR SEAL WILL LAST THE LONGEST, LOOK THE BEST, AND BRING THE BEST IN VALUE FOR YOUR EXPENSE AND EFFORT!
Use a Sealer with UV Pigments!
After considering the above, and when you are ready to stain/seal your wood, use a Sealer with UV Pigments! While they impart a tonal color, especially on light colored woods, they sun-shade your wood and its seal so it looks better and the seal lasts longer! Because of prior disappointments many people have had with non-UV pigmented Stains, many swear not to use stains again and reach for "Clear" sealers and finishes only. Outdoors, though, these just don't have the protection factors that modern UV Pigmented Sealer/Stains now have. Non-UV protected "Clear" coatings weather and grey sooner (from sun and molds) so TRY AGAIN and reach for a UV Pigmented Sealer/Stain/Finish like Sun Frog. You will be happy as you can be with this choice.
Sun Frog Exterior Wood Sealer, Finish and Stain Does all of the Above!