Care and Maintenance

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Protect your investment with the proper maintenance program.

You have invested a lot of time and money in your deck or other outdoor project. The YellaWood® brand lumber used around your home needs care and maintenance to protect your project from the harsh effects of weathering caused by rain, sunlight and temperature change. The information that follows will help you get the best out of your project and help you protect your investment.

Water Repellents

You should apply water repellent within 6 weeks of the project's completion. For the best results, water repellents should be applied annually and stains should be re-applied as needed. In all instances follow the manufacturer's directions when applying water repellents or semi-transparent stains which may contain water repellent. Get more info on sealing, painting and staining.


A simple solution of mild soap and a pressure washer will help clean your project of surface mold and dirt. Just keep the pressure low, use a 45-degree fan and keep the wand moving so you don't damage your deck. There are also specific products at your local dealer that are made especially for cleaning pressure treated products. Keep in mind that surface mold in no way affects the decay-resistant properties of your project. After cleaning, a water repellent or a stain with water repellent can be applied to help reduce weathering of your project.

Regular Wood Inspection and Replacement

Severely warped and splitting lumber which cannot be salvaged should be replaced. It is unfortunate, but in spite of homeowners' best efforts, some pieces of wood, through the natural growing characteristics in the grain pattern, will mechanically degrade over time to become un-useful.

Fastener Inspection

Your regular maintenance program should include regular inspection of all fasteners to determine if nails, screws or bolts are working themselves loose. A nail which has popped out of the wood can be driven back in and splitting boards can, in some cases, be reinforced with additional fasteners. See the Deck Safety Checklist for more.


Preserved wood may be disposed of in landfills or burned in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. Treated lumber should never be burned in open fires, stoves, fireplaces or residential boilers.

Natural Wood Occurrences

That little yellow tag on the end of your lumber means your lumber has the best protection against rot, fungal decay and termite attack. However, to get the most of out of your project a regular maintenance program is necessary to minimize the effects of the weather. Whenever a project is built with treated wood and exposed to the weather, certain inherent properties of the wood become evident. Since the characteristics shown below are natural to wood, they are not warranted against such occurrences. Here are examples of what can happen:


As wood dries you can expect some slight shrinkage in both width and length to occur. To minimize gaps between boards, wet wood should be butted together during installation.


As wood is exposed to alternating cycles of wetting and drying some checking and splitting may be expected.


Wood may bow, crook, cup or twist in varying degrees depending on stresses released by initial sawing of the lumber and moisture absorption.


Severely warped or buckled wood is wood that has twisted to the point where it is an eyesore or structurally unsound. Severely split wood will have a crack that goes completely through the board and has opened. These severe warping and splitting conditions can sometimes be corrected, but in worst case situations, the wood may have to be replaced. Replacement of severely warped and split wood is part of a regular maintenance program.


When wood is exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun, color fading occurs. Freshly treated YellaWood® brand pressure treated wood appears only slightly greener than untreated wood. In a few weeks' time it turns tan or brown and eventually, weathers to the familiar gray color. The use of a high quality stain of the desired color will renew the color. A stain containing a water repellent is also recommended.


Moisture penetration can cause rot and decay. Unprotected wood can be destroyed by termites. To keep your outdoor project strong and attractive, use only YellaWood® brand pressure treated wood.

Watch: Protect Your Investment

The YellaWood® brand lumber used around your home needs some care and maintenance to protect it from the harsh effects of weathering caused by rain, sunlight and temperature change. Danny Lipford explains the best way to protect your investment.

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