Category Archives: Wooden outdoor structure care and maintenance

Archadeck of Central SC explores the varied benefits of wooden vs. aluminum screened rooms

Screened in Porches That Blend Right Into Your Home

Archadeck of Central SC specializes in outdoor room additions that blend in seamlessly with your home and landscape.

With all the choices available in the world of outdoor living structures today, sometimes it can be a daunting task to know which outdoor structure addition will best fit your needs. In addition, there are many materials, finishes, textures and colors to select from. One of our goals as an outdoor living space design and building expert is to help educate you regarding material choices in order to help you make the most informed decision about your anticipated outdoor living addition.

Two of our most popular outdoor living spaces are screened porches and three season rooms. We offer both wooden-framed and aluminum outdoor rooms designs. Each of these materials offers varied benefits while still providing the lifestyle enhancement and quality you have come to rely on from Archadeck of Central SC. We have put together a comparison of the benefits of wood versus aluminum when used in a screened porch or three season room addition.

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia SC

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

Wooden-Framed Outdoor Rooms

Wooden-framed screened porches and three season rooms are a good fit for creating a space with a natural feel. Wood is a substantial material when your tastes lean more towards the look of a traditional screened porch. Pressure treated pine is not a good candidate for painting. We recommend leaving it natural or applying stain to retain the rustic attributes of natural wood.

Even this Columbia, SC, homeowners' cats love the screened porch!

Even this Columbia, SC, homeowners’ cats love the screened porch!

From a project timeline perspective, wooden-framed screened porches and three season rooms typically take a little longer to build compared to aluminum. However, for homeowners who love the look and presence of natural wood, it is well worth the wait.

Aluminum screened porch with gable roof in Lexington, SC.

Aluminum screened porch with gable roof in Lexington, SC.

Aluminum-Framed Outdoor Rooms

Our aluminum-framed outdoor rooms are custom-made to order and designed to match your home’s architecture and colors. Unlike other aluminum outdoor room companies’ that are built using a kit, we custom design your outdoor room according to your spatial needs, roof pitch and desired interior amenities. We offer both shed roof and gable roof designs that compliment your existing home. Our gable roofed designs allow for a shingled roof, which we match as closely as possible to your existing roof. Gable roofs also allow for higher ceilings within your outdoor room making it feel more open and airy.

central-sc-aluminum-screened-porches

The build time for an aluminum outdoor room is considerably less than a wooden-framed one — which translates into being able to enjoy it sooner! In addition, maintenance is a breeze since the space will never require the laborious task of staining or sealing, there is no siding to replace in the future, and our shed roof designs don’t require shingles. Aluminum delivers a clean and sleek finish perfect for many of today’s contemporary homes. We offer four color choices in our aluminum outdoor rooms. These include bronze, white and two neutral tones that allow freedom in matching the new room to your home’s trim and architectural details. White remains our most popular aluminum color choice among homeowners in the Columbia area.

Our outdoor rooms will provide years of enjoyment for you and your family no matter which material you choose to use. They will expand your living space and allow you to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors without the undesirable insects, dangerous UV rays and inclement weather.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

If you are ready to learn more about adding a screened porch or three season room to your home, contact Archadeck of Central SC today. We can get you started enjoying your new outdoor living space sooner than you ever imagined! Call today for a free design consultation at (803) 603 – 2160 or send us an email at centralsc@archadeck.net.

 

 

 

 

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Archadeck of Central SC can help you find a long term solution when your deck no longer measures up

Peeling blue paint on wood deck.

Peeling blue paint on wood deck.

In our line of business we have seen many deck owners place their hopes of restoring their aged or worn wooden deck into products that usually only offer false promises. Case in point are the “paint on” plastic deck coatings you may have seen on TV or noticed in the “big box” home improvement stores. Many retailers have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. These products claim to offer superior protection for the wood and to eliminate splinters, nail-holes and minor cracks with ease of application as a homeowner can apply the product over the course of a weekend.

Although each individual case is different, our experience with “fix all” products is anything but positive. These products only serve as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Many are made up of epoxy-style coverings that appear to be smooth, flawless and cool to the touch when exposed to the sun but in reality can come out rough and retain heat on structures that have a southern exposure.

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

In addition to the many shortfalls these products have, they also require frequent and costly reapplication in most scenarios. With wooden decking, as with any of the effects of sun and water on horizontal surfaces, application over rotten or damp wood will likely cause failures of the coatings. Other inconsistencies that must also be addressed are tight spacing of existing deck boards and reduced drainage capabilities. The circumference of these coatings will make tight spacing worse, and the area between your decking boards must be cleaned out regularly or face side rot. Flashing issues at the ledger are also a concern as is lack of proper waterproofing over joist tops.

The possibility of success, if any, of using these “paint-on” products lies within the surface preparation itself. Wood needs to be cleaned and free of any debris, oils or grease (this includes barbecue sauce). Prerequisites also include replacement of any loose nails. Manufacturers of the product even recommend your existing deck be screwed down to avoid the chances of any nails working up through the new finish. We are quick to point out these products should not serve as a “fix” for rotting wood or a surface in very bad condition as many deck owners may assume. These products serve as an alternative to conventional sealers or stain, not as a decking repair system.

Composite deck with composite rail and flared stairs.

Let our experienced staff help you achieve the backyard of your dreams.

Archadeck of Central SC is your redecking expert in the Columbia region. Redecking an aging or failing deck through a quality deck contractor is the only real solution for invasive decking problems. Our diverse portfolio of materials includes quality wooden choices as well as the highest quality synthetic options on the market.

Keep in mind, when redecking with a composite, it is critical to replace all joists. When going from wood to composite, you have to add joists. Typically the wood deck has joists that are eighteen inches apart. So some contractors would put new joists in between the old joists, giving you joists every eight inches. However, mixing new joists in between old ones will result in A) waves in the deck when the level new joists shrink and B) loose-fitting boards unless you screw down every single joist every eight inches, which are too many screws to look good. We tear out all of the joists and build as new to get a problem-free deck. In many cases we may still use the old posts and beams if in good shape.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

We have many redecking options available to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. Contact Archadeck of Central SC to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs. Our knowledge and experience working with wood and synthetics over the years can ensure an outdoor living space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Call today for a free design consultation (803) 603- 2160 or email us at
centralsc@archadeck.net.

This Irmo, SC, deck gets a makeover and much more!

Shade and ambiance abounds with a custom pergola and landing addition in Irmo, SC.

Welcome to this updated backyard paradise in Irmo, SC.

Our recent project in Irmo, SC, is the perfect example of a successful union of combining the two Outdoor Living Brand franchises we own and operate in Central SC. On this project Archadeck of Central SC and our sister franchise, Renew Crew of Central SC, worked together to breathe new life into this backyard deck. The project was multi-faceted and resulted in an outdoor living space that is pleasing to the eye and a joy for the homeowner to use.

Irmo, SC, deck and pergola builders

When we initially met with the homeowner, she expressed the need to refresh the tired finish of their existing backyard deck. In addition, she also wanted to amend the space in order to enjoy the area overlooking the backyard pool. This portion of the deck receives a great deal of afternoon sun and her wish was to add a shade structure.

Columbia SC deck gets a makeover and a new pergola addition

Deck following Renew Crew’s three-step renewal process.

Archadeck and Renew Crew of Central SC came up with the perfect answer to giving this homeowner exactly what she yearned for. By combining forces we were able to breathe years of life into her existing deck and build the shade structure she had in mind.

The first phase of this backyard makeover was the addition of the charming wooden shade pergola over the existing deck. Archadeck of Central SC carefully designed the new structure, considering the placement of the pergola in correlation with the sun, and  maintaining the integrity of the existing home and surrounding space. The finished project looks original to this Irmo backyard and promises hours of solace from the sun. The new pergola also serves to unify the existing spaces into a spacious backyard paradise. Imagine sitting beneath the pergola on a humid SC afternoon, undaunted by the temperature, with the ceiling fan cooling you off and a tall, icy drink in your hand!

Irmo SC Pergola Builders

Renew Crew then cleaned, stained and sealed the existing deck using our eco-friendly three-step process. This process lifts the years of dirt and grime and safely cleans without the use of harsh chemicals. We then used a non-damaging controlled pressure wash to rinse it away, Our final step sealed in the beauty of the deck and will protect against the elements for continued enjoyment.

If your existing outdoor space is in need of a makeover, consider the results you can achieve in your backyard with Archadeck of Central SC and Renew Crew on your team!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Contact us today at (803) 603 – 2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

Archadeck of Central SC has much in store this weekend at the Columbia Home Building & Remodeling Expo

Archadeck covered porch outdoor living

Come out to the show this weekend and let’s discuss your ideal backyard addition!

What do you have planned this weekend? If improving your existing outdoor living space or adding one is something that has been on your mind, we know how you can learn more about both! Archadeck of Central SC will be at the Columbia Home Building & Remodeling Expo this weekend to discuss all your outdoor living space needs and much more.

We are your local outdoor building specialists serving the Columbia, Lexington, Irmo and surrounding areas for over 10 years. In addition to designing and building quality structures, we now offer even more services through Renew Crew of Central SC.

Renew Crew of Central SCRenew Crew of  Central SC is your local source for gutter, siding, patio and deck cleaning in the Columbia area. Our effective and environmentally friendly 3-step process lifts built-up outdoor dirt and grime to the surface and washes it away, leaving your outdoor living spaces not only clean but also protected. Now homeowners in the Columbia area can look to us to  build and maintain the outdoor oasis of their dreams to bring years of enjoyment.

Home Show Feb 2013 cropped (1)Archadeck of Central SC will be introducing Renew Crew of Central SC as their sister company at the Columbia Home Building & Remodeling Expo this weekend! We will be located in booth #700 & #701 where our talented team will be on hand to answer all your questions about designing, building and maintaining your outdoor space.

The event will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street. Tickets are $4.00 for adults, and children under 18 will be admitted  for free. Plenty of convenient parking will be available.

Hours for the show are as follows:

  • Friday 1/24 from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday 1/25 from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday 1/26 from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Don’t let this chance pass you by. We look forward to meeting you. You can also contact Archadeck of Central SC or Renew Crew of Central SC for more details about our fabulous designs and service anytime at (803) 603–2160 or (803) 814-6377
– We look forward to seeing you there!

Archadeck of Central SC shows you to how to protect your wooden outdoor living investment

Archadeck of Central SC incorporated the boulders within this Saluda River terrain into the design of this W.Columbia deck

Archadeck of Central SC incorporated the boulders within this Saluda River terrain into the design of this West Columbia wooden deck.

For many South Carolina homeowners nothing compares to the rich beauty of natural wood. Keep in mind, that beauty comes with responsibility. Wooden outdoor spaces have to be properly maintained to keep them looking good. If maintenance is not your thing, choosing natural wood as the main ingredient for your outdoor living space may not be your best option. A composite or other low-maintenance material for your deck would reduce maintenance.

This deck and pergola prove a winning combination for these Irmo, SC residents

This wooden deck and pergola prove a winning combination for these Irmo, SC, residents

The maintenance required for your deck is determined by many factors. An important one is your structure’s exposure to the sun. If your deck is facing South or West you will have to clean, stain or seal your project more often to prevent sun damage. Decks facing North or East may not get enough sun and may experience moisture problems, requiring maintenance to keep them looking and functioning their best. Moisture will penetrate the wood on your unprotected deck causing it to expand and contract with weather changes. UV rays from direct sunlight will cause aging and deterioration of unprotected wood fibers present in the wood. Over time mold and mildew can accumulate on your deck too. Proper deck cleaning and sealing can prevent most of these problems.

This lakeside pressure- treated deck includes built in bench seating, and unique privacy railing. We also integrated the existing trees within the landscape into the design of the deck- stunning.

This lakeside pressure- treated deck includes built-in bench seating and unique privacy railing. We also integrated the existing trees into the design of the deck.

In order to reduce the damage that can occur with wood, and to prevent degradation, Archadeck of Central SC recommends regular maintenance. Maintenance includes initial treatment followed by frequent cleaning along with staining and sealing as needed.

The initial sealing and staining is the most important step to keeping your deck looking good. Pressure-treated wood is infused with chemicals that preserve it and provide protection from rot and  termites. These chemicals cause new wood to be wet, or what is commonly referred to as “green.” For the initial protective sealant to penetrate your new deck properly, a period of drying is necessary. For new decks, depending on the amount of sun exposure, this waiting period will vary. This also depends on how dry your decking boards are when installed and how much rain you have had recently. Before initial staining and sealing, splash a little water on the wood; if it beads versus penetrating, the wood is too wet. When water penetrates versus beading, the stain will penetrate as well.

A protected deck

Notice how the water beads on this wooden deck.

After exposure to the elements a good test of how well your older deck is still protected is to hose down your deck and check to see if the water beads. If the water beads it is a sign that your sealer is doing the job. If the water doesn’t, it is usually time to schedule staining and sealing.  Once a deck is cracking and warping it is often too late to restore the aesthetics. The sun and rain are your biggest enemies when it comes to wooden structures.

Over time results of unprotected wood

Over time, lack of maintenance can cause your deck to crack and warp.

Along with the effects of Mother Nature, your deck can also become damaged from outside forces. Items that are often used along with outdoor living such as Citronella candles and oils can penetrate your wood surfaces and cause staining. Grease and oil spilled on the deck as a result of grilling can damage your deck, as can red wine. Hot charcoal and exposure to solvents such as gasoline will also damage your wood deck. Making sure your deck is sealed properly may give you time to clean up spills or mishaps in time to avoid damage. Regular, frequent cleaning is necessary to keep your deck looking good.

Central SC deck and pergola with seating wall

This Central SC custom deck features a pergola and built-in seating for the ultimate outdoor room.

As a homeowner, outsourcing  maintenance to make sure your wooden deck or outdoor space is adequately maintained is a viable option. Renew Crew   is an associate business of Archadeck specializing in outdoor structure maintenance and restoration. Renew Crew uses a 3-step system providing a comprehensive cleaning and protection service that is environmentally friendly and won’t cause any damage to plants, animals or your outdoor surfaces. By combining low-pressure power washing and cleaners to give your deck a heavy-duty clean, and following up with a fresh coat of proprietary sealant, their process protects your deck from water damage and every-day wear and tear. Renew Crew uses a wood-penetrating sealant with a proprietary, UV-blocking polymer mix that penetrates and protects the wood. This delivers a highly effective seal against the elements that shields your deck from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which cause wood to turn gray over time. This treatment can sometimes avoid the expense of resurfacing or building a new deck.

Large pressure treated deck on Saluda River in West Columbia SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Large pressure treated deck on Saluda River in West Columbia, SC by Archadeck of Central SC.

Remember, when you make the decision to use wood as your deck or outdoor space medium, it is never a question of “if” it will be affected by the elements; it is a question of “how soon.” If you are willing to care for your deck, then it will remain beautiful and serve you well. If a wood deck is well maintained and doesn’t have excessive sun exposure it can last upwards of 20-25 years.

Your wooden outdoor living space is only as good as how well it’s maintained. Your space is a wonderful investment for your property, but it is an investment that needs long-term protection. Contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about maintaining your wooden outdoor structure today (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Please visit our wooden deck photo gallery and our hardwood deck photo gallery located on our website to experience our large selection of deck design ideas.