If you’re lucky enough to own a yacht outfitted with a beautiful teak deck, you may notice after a while that the planks are looking scuffed, developing leaks or showing signs of algae or mildew growth. Teak is a strong, gorgeous wood that is particularly suited to use on a watercraft, but it does require yacht owners to understand its properties in order to prevent damage and aging.
Do it yourself deck maintenance
Fortunately, the most basic requirements of teak maintenance are easy for you to undertake yourself. Because the wood expands when it’s wet and then shrinks back up when it’s dry, it’s important to keep the wood from drying out in order to prevent your rubber caulking from weakening. This can easily be done by washing your deck down with saltwater every day. As the saltwater dries, it will leave a thin film of salt deposit that will continue to absorb moisture from the air and keep your deck wet enough. Salt water also has the advantage of keeping algae and mildew at bay, keeping your deck smelling fresh as an added bonus.
How to maintain your deck’s natural oil
While you may want to enjoy that just-oiled gleam from time to time, it’s rarely ever necessary to oil your teak deck. Even though the wood will begin to look bleached to a light gray from the sun, it actually maintains natural deposits of oil just below the surface, which keep it strong without needing more than the occasional oiling from you.
What not to use on your deck
One of the most important rules of teak maintenance is to avoid sanding, varnishing or using chemicals to clean your teak deck. Sanding and varnishing both ruin the natural non-slip quality of teak, while chemical cleaners will the leach the natural oil from the wood. If the grain of the teak has developed mildew, resist the urge to use bleach and instead remove it with a half-water, half-white vinegar solution. If you’ve spilled paint, soot or a sticky residue on your deck, you may want to seek professional yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale to get it cleaned expertly.
What to do if your deck is leaking
If you notice or suspect that your deck has started to leak, you need to find yacht services in Fort Lauderdale to get your deck recaulked. The old caulking will have to be removed and the spaces between the planks finely cleaned to prepare them for new caulking.
How to maximize the life of your teak deck
If properly maintained, teak decking can last several decades. Teak doesn’t require extensive maintenance on your part, and most of the deck-related yacht services in Fort Lauderdale that Starboard Yacht Group LLC provides are actually devoted to repairing the damage done to teak by over-maintenance. If you just wash down all your wood surfaces regularly with a soft cotton mop, avoid cleaners and soaps not made for teak and resist the urge to scrub your deck, you will get to enjoy your beautiful teak for years to come.