Despite the fact that PVC or synthetic decking has become exceedingly popular in recent years, nothing quite tops a beautifully finished, authentic wood dock.
Not only is natural wood durable, but it’s sound, long-lasting, and looks great. In other words, it will outlast any of its PVC counterparts with the right maintenance and sealing, especially a non-toxic wood sealer.
To learn more about dock maintenance, how to choose a great dock stain, and the benefits of non-toxic wood sealer, check out the rest of this blog for more.
A Quick Guide on Dock Maintenance
Wood is a natural element, and like any other natural element, it’s vulnerable to all types of weather. That includes wind, sunshine, rain, hail, sleet, and snow. Naturally, this constant exposure will result in a bit of wear and tear over the years.
But with regular dock maintenance, you can keep your wood looking fresh as a daisy for as long as the wood integrity lasts:
1. Pressure Wash on the Regular
The key to keeping your wood dock in top shape is to clean it often. This way, you can avoid the build-up of scum, mildew, and others nasties that can damage the integrity of the wood.
Use a pressure washer to clean your dock at least once a month, and make sure to use the right wood/dock detergent too. Once you’ve cleaned it down, rinse it off well to remove any traces of soap scum that could form an unwanted film on the wood.
2. Remove Splinters and Sand Down Your Dock
Once your dock is squeaky clean, the next thing you need to do is sand it down so it’s nice and smooth for a re-varnish and your non-toxic wood stain.
If you’re not experienced in dock sanding, you might want to leave this up to a professional. Make sure to remove any obvious splinters or nicks of wood before you apply your varnish and seal — you want the surface to be as smooth as possible.
Make sure to sand down and seal your deck at least once a year. You don’t want to go beyond three years without a good sanding and re-seal.
3. Seal Your Dock and Keep Dry Rot at Bay
Dry rot is pretty common among docks and wooden decks made from authentic wood. This is because of their constant exposure to water and every element under the sun. But you can avoid this with a good wood varnish and a top-quality, eco-friendly wood stain.
You want to use a wood sealer that will protect your dock not only from lake, river, or saltwater but rainwater, too.
4. Don’t Delay Your Dock Repairs
This is an important part of regular dock maintenance. You want to do a once-over of the dock and check for any trouble areas. As soon you notice any areas that need repair, don’t put the job off for a later stage.
You want to make repairs as soon as you notice them to preserve the life of the wood for as long as possible. This will also put a stop to issues spiraling out of control and becoming far bigger than they need to be!
What To Look For in a Good Stain
This is hands-down one of the most important aspects of keeping your dock in top condition for years to come. The stain and wood protectant you choose makes all the difference. Here’s what you want to look for in an excellent wood stain:
1. Choose a Stain That Penetrates Well
Anyone versed in dock maintenance will tell you that the best stain is one that penetrates deeply into the wood. You want to avoid stains or paints that form a film on the surface of the wood, as this does nothing to protect it. They’re also likely to peel and flake off over time.
2. Opt for Mold and Mildew Resistance
You also want to choose a wood stain that combats mold and mildew due to the fact that your wood dock is constantly exposed to water. While mold and mildew growth is not 100 percent avoidable, a good quality stain will keep most of it at bay.
Mold and mildew are major players when it comes to the development of wood rot.
3. Full Sunlight Resistance Is a Must
Finally, make sure to choose a wood stain that can withstand full sunlight, for hours on end. This is the best way to ensure you’re not left with tired, weathered, and gray-looking wood after only a few months.
Ensure the wood stain you choose offers high UV protection.
Why You Should Choose a Non-Toxic Wood Sealer
The wood sealant you choose is make or break for your wood dock. In many ways, it’s even more important than the wood stain you go for. While there is a myriad of wood sealants on the market today, you want to opt for low VOC wood stain and sealer — something that’s non-toxic.
Why? Let’s dive into some of the benefits:
1. It Offers Even Better Durability
Just because something is eco-friendly and non-toxic does not mean you’re forgoing durability. In fact, quite the contrary. When it comes to eco-friendly wood sealers, durability is some of the best on the market.
Most non-toxic sealants use a nanotechnology formula that offers long-lasting durability against wear and tear, warping, and cupping. You can expect a 6-10 year lifespan of durability on your wood dock with an eco-friendly wood sealer.
2. It’s Safe for Children and Pets
Whether your dock is attached to your backyard or you take your dog out on your boat with you, you want to ensure that the wood sealant you use is safe for your canine companions. With the amount of sniffing and licking they do, you never know what kind of damage toxic chemicals could be doing.
Canine poisoning is all too common across the U.S., but with a non-toxic wood sealant, you can avoid these types of accidents. The same goes for protecting your children from harmful chemicals. All eco-friendly wood sealants are safe for children and are also used on baby cribs, swing sets, and sandboxes, too.
3. It’s Perfect for Exotic Woods
It goes without saying that if you’ve spent the money on using a unique, exotic type of wood for your deck, you want to protect it at all costs. This is where an eco-friendly wood sealant offers a whole new level of protection.
They are specifically formulated to protect all types of woods, even the most exotic kind. This is due to their water-based formula that fends off mold and mildew growth. It also allows the wood to breathe and remain flexible, as it should be.
Get Your Hands on Superior Wood Protection With Seal-Once
If you’re in the market for the best quality non-toxic wood sealer, Seal-Once has your dock covered. We use proprietary nanotechnology that provides only the best longevity for all types of wood, no matter the environment.
If re-sealing your wooden dock is a top priority, explore our wood sealers and stains for an assortment of eco-friendly options.