Why Caring for Your Fence, Deck, and Other Exterior Wood Features Is Essential at Your Southern Home

calander Jul 19 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Wood cabin in the south

Wood remains one of the most popular construction materials for its versatility, durability, and natural beauty. Wooden decks, fences, siding, and other features provide homes with rustic charm that other materials struggle to replicate. Despite the many advantages of wood, however, wooden features are susceptible to many forms of damage, especially those outside your home -- this is the case no matter where you live, but southern regions of the U.S. can be particularly harsh on exterior wooden features. Let’s explore why caring for your fence, deck, and other exterior wood surfaces is essential at your southern home.

Why You Need to Care for Exterior Wood

Southern Air Is Usually Humid

Moisture and wood don’t get along very well. When wood gets wet, it can warp, fracture, soften, and provide prime conditions for the formation of mold, mildew, and rot. While rain, snow, and other types of precipitation present the most direct threat of moisture to your exterior wooden features, moisture in the air can also wreak havoc on your wood. Like anywhere else, relative humidity levels are variable in the south. That said, the average levels of humidity in southern regions tend to be higher than other parts of the U.S. In Raleigh, NC, for instance, the mean of relative humidity levels year-round is about 71%. In September, these levels can approach and surpass the 90% mark. All of this lingering water vapor can cause your exterior wooden surfaces to deteriorate if they’re not well-protected (i.e., with waterproof deck stain) and properly maintained.

The Sun Burns Hot Down South

The south isn’t just known for its mugginess -- it’s also renowned for its heat. Extreme heat and harsh sunlight can discolor wooden features and make them more brittle by drying them out. If portions of a wooden surface receive regular shade while others do not, it doesn’t take long to see the difference that ultraviolet (UV) rays can make on wood’s appearance and texture. Residential exterior painting professionals can help mitigate the southern sun’s negative effects by applying UV-resistant coatings and selecting lighter colors for these features (lighter colors reflect rather than absorb sunlight).

Southern Pests Are Problematic

Various species of pests thrive in the southern U.S. thanks to optimal climate conditions. Unfortunately, many of these pests consume or burrow inside wood. As such, your home’s exterior wood features can quickly become a haven or meal for insects such as powderpost beetles, carpenter ants, wood wasps, moths, carpenter bees, and much more. While it can be difficult to keep these pests at bay entirely, you won’t do yourself any favors by leaving your wooden features unguarded. The better you care for your fence, deck, siding, and other wooden features, the less of an impact these pests will have on your home.

Caring for Your Southern Home’s Exterior Wood Features

With so many factors threatening your exterior wood features, it might seem like an uphill battle to keep them in good shape. The good news, however, is that many preventative and periodic maintenance tasks shield your wooden features from multiple threats at once. Applying a fresh wood stain finish to your decking, siding, etc., every 2-3 years, for instance, seals your wood’s pores (therefore blocking moisture and pests) and combats UV rays. Likewise, power washing your exterior wood features at least twice a year helps remove any dirt, grime, and mold that may have accumulated over several months. Staying on top of this maintenance will ultimately reduce the amount of deck, fence, and siding repair you’ll have to perform over the long-term at your southern home.

At Anderson Painting, our Raleigh, NC, painting professionals know what southern conditions can do to wooden features. We offer painting, staining, power washing, carpentry, repair services, and more to keep your exterior performing and looking its best year-round. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!