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Old 05-29-2002
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Maintaining Teak Decks

I am not quite sure how to maintain my teak decks. I haven't done anything to them in four years and am afraid they might be drying out a little. What do the experts at Sailnet recommend for regular maintenance?

SailNet responds:
Thanks for the question, it's one we get on a fairly regular basis, and because of that, we've had the occasion to address this issue before. Tom Wood, in his article "Bristol Teak," writes "One way to start a heated discussion on the dock is to open the subject of teak treatments. There are literally hundreds of brands, each with their own patrons. Your choice all depends on the look you want to achieve and the type of maintenance you are willing to do."

The objective of any maintenance regarding teak decks is to retain the natural oil in the wood and to seal out moisture and dirt. In his article, Wood goes on to note that there are essentially two approaches when it comes to teak treatments: hard and oiled. To better understand which approach will work best for you, have a look at that article. And if that doesn't satisfy your appetite for information on the topic, you might also have a look at what Mark Matthews wrote in an article entitled "Cosmetic Maintenance." If you ultimately opt to go with one of the hard treatments, you might want to familiarize yourself with another article on SailNet, "The Art of Maintaining Brightwork" by Sue & Larry.

Here's hoping that this information gives you enough of a basis from which to make the best decision about treating your teak decks.

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