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Outdoor wood gets spring cleaning

Tips on preserving decks, siding, fences

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Q: At one time you wrote an article on yearly deck maintenance that included instructions on cleaning a deck and a recipe for preserving it. Can you send me that recipe? A: You bet we can. Each year around this time, we get a number of questions from readers who want to know how best to care for their outdoor wood, whether it be decking, fencing or siding. With the spring and summer months upon us, it's time for a quick refresher course. First, a word of caution: The wood you buy at the lumber store, whether it be redwood, cedar, fir or an exotic, such as iron wood or zebra wood, will not retain the color and texture you see right after it's installed. Water and sunlight -- specifically ultraviolet light -- over time will change both the color and texture of wood over time. Water-repellant preservatives and sealers can help maintain a consistent color, but they will not give the same color or tone you see in the lumber rack. For longevity as well as aesthetics, we prefer ...