cause some deck stain/sealers to fail, removing the color tone and even some of the wood’s natural color. A better alternative is to use oxy- gen bleach. As found in laundry detergent, oxygen bleach cleans fabrics without disrupting the color or damaging the material. Oxygen bleach can usually be combined with water, applied to the wood and allowed to sit for 10 or 15 min- utes, then it can be easily rinsed from the surface with a garden hose. Oxygen bleach can clean the wood without damaging the fibers or harming the surrounding vegetation, which eliminates the need to use plastic or drop cloths for protection.
APPLICATION Once the wood has thoroughly dried from the preparatory clean-
I mixed the oxygen bleach with water and applied it with a pump- up sprayer.
To clean the wood surface, I used a scrub brush and a mixture of oxygen bleach.
When applying a maintenance coat of stain/sealer to an outdoor structure, you’re likely to find a few areas in need of repair. Since wood tends to move in response to changes in temperature and humidity, boards can twist and bend over time, putting stress on fastener connec- tions. I came across a few of these yawn- ing joints on a recent fence-staining proj- ect, where the boards had bent over the years and refused to bend back the way I had originally installed them. In some cases, the easiest way to address these problems is to bridge them with a piece of metal hardware fastened with exterior- grade screws to the mating sides of the joint. Your local hardware store will have a variety of hardware plates in various shapes and sizes. For the fence I used a couple of flat plates, plus a right-angle plate at a corner connection. If you don’t like the look of the metal on your wood fence, you can always cut a 1x block stained to match the wood, then fasten it over the metal plate.
SIMPLE FENCE REPAIRS