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We all work hard to keep our yards pleasant and appealing by trimming shrubs, mowing and planting flower gardens, yet many of us overlook the natural wood we have outdoors such as wooden decks, fences, siding, and even wooden playsets and benches. Many homeowners chose natural wood for its beauty, but think they must put up with gray, weathered look that occurs over time. The fact is you can keep the rich, natural color of wood by simply cleaning and protecting your wood , reports The Flood Company, wood care experts since the 1800’s.
Here are some simple steps you can take to bring back the beauty of the natural wood around your home.
Clean the wood. Spring or autumn are excellent times to give your wood a good scrubbing. A once-a-year cleaning with an exterior wood cleaner will remove all the dirt and gray color. Bleach-free detergents such as Deskwood Cleaner and Brightener won’t harm your plants, but will remove nail stains and ground-in dirt. For stubborn mildew stains, use a small amount of household bleach diluted with water to kill the mildew, then go over those areas with Deskwood. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and let dry before applying a wood finish.

Protect The Wood
Both stains and clear finishes will protect your deck, siding and fencing. Choose a natural tone, solid color, or a combination for a two tone look. The trend is to use clear finishes on the deck floorboards and colored stain on railings to compliment the house trim. White stain is the most popular color.
Clear finishes give the wood a natural look allowing the wood grain to show through. Clear finishes should be reapplied every two years. Select an oil-based finish with ultra-violet protection, such as CWF-UV Clear Wood Finish, which protects wood from moisture and the sun’s rays that cause the wood to fade and age.
When selecting a stain it is also important that it will penetrate into the wood to reduce peeling and prevent mildew. Flood Solid Color Deck and Siding Stain is available in a multitude of colors and is guaranteed for 5 years on decks and 15 years on siding.

Protect New Wood Too!
Although you may have heard differently in the past, new decks, fences, siding, playsets and benches should be treated immediately. New wood treatment actually helps the wood weather evenly, reducing the splitting and warping often associated with weathering. Flood’s Seasonite New Wood Treatment is a one-time application that protects new wood as it weathers during the first year. It’s ideal for pressure treated wood.

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Last Revised: Wednesday, February 17, 1999