Fall Redwood Deck and Furniture Maintenance Tips

Written by Scott Groschel of SG Construction
Updated November 15, 2016
Redwood pergola in backyard
When inspecting your structure, pay close attention to fasteners and joints. (Photo courtesy of The Humboldt Redwood Company)

Is your redwood structure ready for harsh winter conditions?

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Most homeowners consider fall landscape maintenance to focus solely on plant life: uprooting annual plantings, preparing perennials for their dormant phase, clearing unwanted growth that summer blooms may have hidden. While those are certainly important, they’re not the only to-dos on the list.

Adding a few minor inspections and maintenance items for your outdoor furniture and fixtures can not only prolong the life of these investment features, but also your enjoyment of them. Here are some actions to take now before winter sets in:

Store furniture and portable objects

It’s true that most outdoor furniture, planters and other garden accents are designed to take what Mother Nature dishes out. Especially if they’re made of redwood. Naturally durable, termite and rot resistant, redwood is ideal for outdoor installations because of its enduring qualities.

While they could withstand a full four seasons, moving unused outdoor items to indoor storage is the logical thing to do. That break from the everyday elements also helps your furniture last longer.

Visually inspect permanent structures

When inspecting your structure, pay close attention to fasteners and joints. If the structure features hinges, test their movement and add oil as necessary. Whether pergolas, gates, arbors or retaining walls, setting aside time for semi-annual inspections is helpful for catching a small fix that could bloom into a much more expensive problem.

Any rusted fasteners should be replaced with quality hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel for a permanent fix. The structural stability of redwood also means it holds its shape better; it’s not as prone to warping or cupping.

Clean surfaces that have endured a summer’s worth of wear

Whether a chair being moved to storage or an outdoor kitchen, taking time to do a thorough cleaning can remove debris that would settle into smaller spaces and stain or even erode the wood’s surface. The cleaning can also afford you an up-close inspection of the finish on the wood. Signs of wear may mean adding a refinishing project to the springtime to-do list! Fortunately, redwood is one of the easiest to maintain and finish of all naturally durable woods, making such a project quick and simple.

These three fall maintenance steps don’t take very much time to do, and may mean less work to do in the springtime when people think about spending more time outdoors. It’s a job made even easier when you use redwood in your landscaping. Sustainable, durable and beautiful, redwood is also one of the lightest, yet structurally sound softwood species found in North America, making it ideal for a wide range of structural applications where large timbers are required.

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About this Experts Contributor: Scott Groschel represents SG Construction, a full service professional construction company in Concord, California. Since 2009, SG Construction has specialized in all types of exterior wood working projects, including fencing, decking and more. Want to learn more about redwood? Visit the official Humboldt Redwood website.

As of November 14, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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