One of the most frequent requests we get from current customers is to help determine if their teak furniture or deck is ready for maintenance. While we never mind helping our customers determine the best teak furniture maintenance interval for their particular surroundings, this is also something that most people can do on their own with a few basic questions and answers. In particular:
1) Has the tone of the wood lightened considerably since when it was last sealed?
While all wood will start theoretically fading the first day it is exposed to the sun, it should keep much of its color for at least a period of 6 months. Then, depending on the amount of direct sunlight the wood surfaces get, the wood will start lightening more significantly eventually looking like pale, untreated wood. When the wood looks as pale as it did when it was new, that is about as long as anyone should wait before scheduling teak furniture maintenance. If your personal taste is such that you don’t like your wood to look light at all, then a more frequent maintenance interval will be needed.
2) Is there any sign of surface mold or mold spores anywhere on the wood surfaces?
Once the wood loses the protection of the sealer that was last applied, it can start to show mold spores or tiny black dots where the wood has gone pale. While easily remedied during regular maintenance, that service should be scheduled once mold is visible on a majority of surfaces.
3) Is there any oxidation of the wood, or silvering, either on the flat surfaces or, worse, between the slats?
Once your teak furniture or hardwood deck starts to gray, you are definitely in need of maintenance. When the previously applied sealer has been baked out of the wood by the sun, then the wood will start to go from pale to silver to gray. If that process is allowed to continue to the point that the hard-to-reach surfaces begin to turn gray, you have reached the outer limit as to when teak maintenance can still be effectively performed. At this point, a full teak restore may be needed. It is always best to schedule teak furniture maintenance at the first sign of graying on any wood surface.
By checking on your teak furniture or hardwood deck each month, especially after its been a year since your last maintenance service, you can correctly time your next maintenance service and avoid the more expensive and time consuming process of a complete teak furniture or hardwood deck restoration.