Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 3: Regular Maintenance Tips

Welcome to the third and final installment of our ongoing blog series, Caring for Your Apitong Deck. As you'll recall, our first two installments covered environmental dangers to your deck and picking the right finish for your deck, respectively. This week we'll take a look at five regular maintenance tips you can follow to keep your trailer flooring functional and look good. Enjoy!

1. Clean!
This is an important but often overlooked step in regular trailer flooring maintenance. You may not think that cleaning your truck or trailer flooring is important - it's a work truck, after all! You're not trying to win any beauty contests! - but the reality is that dirt, dust, mold, and mildew can cause unnecessary wear and rot on even the toughest decks. Sweeping and washing on occasion can really help extend the life of your trailer flooring.

2. Fix popped nails.
They're not only bad for the boards, they're hazardous to you and your work crew as well. Look out for popped nails whenever you're loading, unloading, or cleaning, and replace them when you find them.

3. Replace busted boards.
The great thing about hardwood trailer flooring is that when a board warps, rots, or breaks, most of the time you can replace it without having to tear out and replace the entire bed. If you are a fairly competent DIYer, removing and replacing a board or two in your trailer flooring shouldn't be a problem.

4. Refinish.
If your trailer flooring is still structurally stable but is looking a little worse-for-wear, it might be time to refinish it. This may seem like a purely aesthetic maintenance step, and it mostly is. However, even the best hardwood finish loses its protective qualities over time. Refinishing regularly will help protect the wood from the elements and extend the life of your trailer flooring.

5. Replace.
Hardwood trailer flooring is a natural material, and despite your best maintenance attempts, it will degenerate over time. If the majority of your boards are warped, bent, and busted, it's probably a good idea to replace the entire deck. Call the professionals at TrailerDecking today to discuss your options when replacing your entire deck.

We hope you've enjoyed reading this blog series as much as we've enjoyed presenting it to you! Stay tuned to the TrailerDecking blog for more helpful trailer flooring tips and information!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 2: Picking the Right Finish

Welcome to part two in our three-part exclusive blog series, Caring for Your Apitong Deck. As you'll recall, the last installment discussed the environmental dangers your Apitong trailer decking can face in the course of its lifetime. This week we'll be taking a look at the different types of finishes you can apply that will help protect your trailer decking from those dangers. Enjoy!

Many trailer owners skip finish applications because they think the cost is too high. While the finish cost and the cost of labor to apply it to your flatbed deck may seem steep at first, it is modest when compared to the potential damage and degradation your deck can face from the elements. Efficient finish applications usually take no longer than an hour or so and require just a few gallons of deck treatment. Again, it may seem like an annoying add-on, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

In order to avoid damage caused by the elements, there are two basic types of deck treatments to consider: 1.) a semi-transparent oil stain, or; 2.) a water-repellent preservative.

Oil stains are the treatment option most often preferred by hardwood industry professionals. The finish soaks deep into the wood surface and provides an attractive even color while still allowing the natural grain to show through. If you're looking for a protective finish that will feature your deck's natural beauty, oil stains are the right choice.

If you decide on an oil stain you will be faced with another decision - the type. There are two common types of oil stains: 1.) natural oils like linseed oil, and; 2.) more expensive synthetic oils. Both oils do an excellent job of sealing and preserving the wood and they both produce a beautiful deck.

Natural oil stains have a tendency to support mildew and discoloration, so if you live in an area with moderate to severe humidity and rain you may want to think twice about this choosing this type of finish. The better natural oil stains contain mildewcides (or they can be added), but black mildew can reappear in a year or so so regular applications may be necessary. Synthetic oil stains, on the other hand, are specially formulated and eliminate the problem of black mildew.

That brings us to the second option you have when choosing a deck finish: water-repellant preservatives. Clear water repellent preservatives are often made of a wax- or a silicon-base. This base seals the wood but doesn't soak as deeply into the wood. The water repellant preservatives are often less expensive (about half the cost of good quality oil stains) but they need to be reapplied every year. If you decide on a silicon- or wax-based preservative, check the label to make sure it contains not only water repellents but also mildewcides and UV blockers.

Still unsure what kind of finish to use? Contact the professionals at TrailerDecking.com today to discuss your options. And don't forget to tune in next week when we'll conclude the series with "Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 3: Regular Maintenance". Till then!