Exterior Deck, Patio & Porch

8 Ways to Save Your Deck From Sun Damage

Maintain your deck’s appearance and prevent graying by using one—or more—of these tried and true methods.
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Keep Your Deck Looking Fresh


While wood decks might look beautiful when they’re first installed, they quickly begin to appear weathered if they aren’t properly maintained. Pressure-treated wood is generally considered the most economical material for decks and has a number of advantages, including being resistant to rot and pest infestations due to the chemicals used. Unfortunately, just like other wood, it is still susceptible to fading, graying, and sun damage. Read on to learn more about all the best ways to protect your wood deck from the sun’s harsh UV rays.

Choose a Protective Sealant


The first step in preventing sun damage to your deck is to ensure it’s coated with a protective stain or sealant. There are a number of products (available on Amazon) on the market that protect against water damage as well as UV rays. Since you should seal your deck anyway, you may as well choose a product that also prevents sun damage. Sealants are usually reapplied every two years for optimal results.

Related: The Best Deck Sealers for Protection Against the Elements

Invest in an Awning


Awnings can be either automatically or manually retractable, allowing you to choose to soak up the sun or sit in the shade, depending on the day. They are made with UV-resistant materials, so that they continue to look fresh for years while protecting your deck and patio furniture from sun damage. Since they’re retractable, they also can be closed when it rains to help extend their lifespan even further.

Use an Umbrella


Consider adding a cantilever umbrella to your deck to provide shade and protection. This style of umbrella has an offset pole rather than a centered one in order to create an unobstructed seating area underneath. Umbrellas usually only cover a relatively small amount of space, so they may need to be paired with other sun protection methods on larger decks.

Related: Important Deck Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Choose a Light Color


When picking a stain for your deck, consider which colors will absorb the most heat. The closer to black, the more light and heat it will absorb from the sun. While dark-stained decks may look great, they can be more likely to fade, incur other sun damage over time, and require more frequent maintenance.

Opt for a Composite Deck


Wood decks inherently require frequent maintenance and need to be resealed or restained every couple of years no matter how well you care for them. Composite decks, however, are increasing in popularity due to their long lifespans and low maintenance needs. They’re usually made from a mixture of wood particles and plastic to make them durable and more resistant to sun bleaching.

Avoid Pressure Washing


One of the most essential factors in protecting your deck from sun damage is ensuring the wood remains strong in order to resist UV rays. While pressure washing is one of the most popular methods of cleaning a deck, the strong water pressure can soften and damage the wood, making it susceptible to sun damage. As a gentler alternative, consider making a DIY deck cleaner.

Related: 9 Things You Should Never Clean with a Pressure Washer

Add a Shade Sail


A shade sail is a semi-permanent installation that provides shade to a deck. Shade sails are made from UV-resistant fabrics in order to maintain their color longer over time. Unlike awnings, they are typically fixed in place and remain there throughout the season. Because of this, they may be the best choice for those who rarely want to bask in the sun.

Build a Pergola


A pergola adds ambience to an outdoor living space while also providing some sun protection. Some pergolas are open and let in sunlight through the rafters, while others have decking or fabric coverings that provide more complete sun protection. If covered, they still allow a breeze to flow while covering more surface area than an umbrella.

Grab some shades


This summer, pay attention to the wear and tear signs of sun damage on your patio. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your deck feeling brand new!