Outside Spaces: Deck, Porch, and Railing Tips

Q: How do I keep my deck, porch, railings, and other outdoor wood surfaces in good shape?

A: Exterior surfaces need regular care and maintenance, especially here in the South, to keep their beauty. Protecting your decks, railings, and porches from water, moisture and ultraviolet rays will prolong their life. Ocean Oaks can professionally power wash these areas, then apply stains, coatings, or paint – whatever your preference – to keep your outdoor surfaces in tip-top shape, prolonging their beauty, safety, and life.

Q: I’m overwhelmed. There are so many options for coating outside areas. How do I know what’s the best choice?

A: Don’t worry, we can certainly help. The first step in selecting the right coating for your surfaces is to consider the age and condition of the area. For newer wood, clear and toned products can prolong the life without covering up the beauty of the wood’s grain. Waterborne semi-transparent and solid stains are great choices for older woods, since they provide the maximum protection while helping conceal surface imperfections or marks. Sometimes, a colorful or white paint is just the right thing to make your outside areas look their absolute best. Ocean Oaks’ experienced team is happy to help you choose products that will protect and beautify your outdoor areas, while giving you the finish and look you want. Contact us today and schedule your project consultation.

Q: How long can I expect an outdoor finish to last?

A: There’s no one answer, as it depends on conditions, care, and finish. Coatings and paints used on horizontal applications like decks and porches naturally have a shorter life span than coatings applied to vertical surfaces like railings and posts. They often get more of a beating with direct exposure to sunlight, moisture from rain, sand, grit, and mud, and often years of foot or vehicle traffic. In general, clear finishes don’t offer significant UV protection and don’t last as long as pigmented-toned clears or semi-transparent stains. And, every product has different guarantees and warranties. When selecting a finishing product, the experienced professionals at Ocean Oaks Painting and Construction will help you make sure it’s the right product with all the protective qualities your project needs. Schedule a project consultation today. We’re happy to help you make the best decision for your project.

Q: Once and for all, what’s really better… oil-based or water-based products?

A: Good question! It really depends on several things. Products designed for exterior elements have a range of benefits and characteristics. Whether you choose an oil- or water-based product is a matter of personal preference. Water-based products offer quick, soap-and-water clean up. Oil-based ones require solvents, which are often caustic, smelly, and dangerous. On the other hand, oil-based coatings often offer excellent results with just one coat, while water-based finishes often need at least two. The Ocean Oaks team is experienced with both types of finishes, and of course, we’re happy to share our professional suggestions. If you have an area previously treated with one and wish to switch to the other, please let us know so our estimate will be based on your exact situation, and we are prepared for any necessary preparation before your project begins.

Q: After you’ve beautified and revitalized my outdoor areas, how do I maintain them? Do I need special cleaning products or methods?

A: Similar to selecting the finishing coat for the wood, the type of cleaning product you need will depend on your project, the finished used, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. We recommend visiting your local Sherwin-Williams store. They have a full line of SuperDeck cleaning products – just ask the staff there to help you pick the one that will provide the best results for your particular project and situation. If your product is from another manufacturer, please contact them about their recommendations, or ask us for recommendations as we plan your project.

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