If you have just had a new compressed hardwood screen installed in an exterior area of your home, or if you have owned one for a while and would like to make sure that it will continue to look good for years to come, here are our professional maintenance tips.
As with the health of our bodies, the best way to keep your screens in optimum condition starts with...
- All types of wood are susceptible to rot and decay with prolonged exposure to rain, humidity, scorching heat, and damp, but the process can be dramatically slowed if the raw wood has been properly sealed before it is installed outdoors. Make sure that your screen has been sealed if you intend to install it outdoors. QAQ screens can be purchased raw or are sealed with either Aquadex or decking oil and offer full UV protection upon your request.
- Make sure that soil or plant life never creeps up and partly buries any part of your screen if it has been placed low to the ground or in a garden, as these can increase the damp and chance of wood rot or mould.
After some time outside, your screen will be due for a good cleaning with clean water to remove dirt and grime and improve the performance of the protective sealants. If there is any mould, remove as much as possible with a stiff brush and then apply a mould remover. Rinse the remover off thoroughly with clean water and allow it to completely dry.
When It's Re-Sealing Time
Generally, the exterior surface coatings deteriorate by chalking rather than flaking, so when it is time to re-seal, first prepare the surface of the wood by giving it a good clean, then remove all the loose chalk, dirt, and dust with fine grit sandpaper. Dust the wood off thoroughly and apply a minimum of two coats of your choice of sealant in accordance with the manufacturer's directions. We recommend Cabot's Aquadeck or equivalent. Be sure to give your sealant a good thorough stir with a flat stirrer to achieve the optimum chemical effectiveness. Pay particular attention to the most exposed parts of the screen or wood grain, and use smooth even brush strokes in the same direction. Wait no longer than 15 minutes between coats, as you want to apply the additional coats on before the previous coat has dried; this creates a stronger, more cohesive seal. There is no need to apply more than two coats in most cases, as once the wood is penetrated and sealed, excess coats will simply remain on the surface.
How often should you re-seal your outdoor decorative screen?
Every four years at least. This will maximise your investment and help your screen to look its best for years to come.
I hope that this post has helped you with maintaining your QAQ screen. If you have any questions about maintenance not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us! :)
Christine & The QAQ Staff