Exotic Hardwood Deck Maintenance

Exotic hardwood use is on a rise.  Over the years the traditional ipe or tigerwood species have been used for both fencing and decking material and were hard to find a contractor that could source the product.  With the greater availability and sourcing of more varieties of hardwoods, the demand is at an all time high.

The maintenance of hardwoods such as ipe, mahogany, redwood, tigerwood is critical to helping keep the wood both protected and looking its best.  The expectation should be to repeat the maintenance process annually in order to maintain a pristine surface that will help keep the wood preserved for a long time.

Deck Lighting

Now that you have had your deck restored and it is looking the best it has in years…..enjoy it!  Nothing says summer like friends or family over hanging out on the deck.  Enhancing that experience into the evening hours of the spring, summer and fall with deck lighting can make it that much more enjoyable.

No more bugs!  The availability of LED lighting has increased over the years and has become more affordable over time.  One of the largest benefits of LED lighting is the fact that it does not produce heat.  Heat is what attracts bugs!  It is commonly thought that it is the light…..LED lighting won’t attract additional bugs however more than likely they will still be present.  A couple tiki torches or citronella candles can help minimize their presence.

Call us today to learn more about this affordable addition to your deck!


Proper Care and Maintenance of Outdoor Wood

Proper Care and Maintenance of Outdoor Wood

Wooden decks and fences are worthy investments.  They add a wonderful, natural aesthetic beauty to your home.  However, it takes proper care to maintain that beauty and keep the wood looking like new.

Think of the wooden boards that comprise your deck and fence as they once existed in the form of a tree.  When you peel the bark off of a tree, it has no way to protect itself.  The impact of the elements on unprotected wood causes immediate damage to it.  For example, rain, melting snow, and morning dew are all absorbed by unprotected wood, which cases it to swell.  Then, the wood begins to shrink back again when the sun’s heat causes it to start drying.  This constant cycle of swelling and shrinking causes wood to warp, split, cup, and crack.  All of these shorten the lifespan of the wood and lead to costly repairs and replacement.

There is a way to make your wood look like new again, and even double its life, by having it cleaned and then sealed or stained.  We believe you should choose Bright Services for your wooden fence and deck needs not only because of our highly trained technicians and environmentally safe processes, but because we stand behind our work.

If you are interested in a free quote for our cleaning and staining services, please call us at 215-357-3058 or email us at info@brightservicesgroup.com

Selecting a Stain for Your Cedar Fence

Selecting a Stain for Your Cedar Fence

Whether you are thinking of installing a new cedar fence or it is just time for your existing cedar fence to be stained you are probably thinking of color choices.  With today’s large market the selection is wider than ever.  Before selecting your color, there are a few items to take into consideration.

Examining the colors in the environment surrounding the fence can help when choosing your stain color.  Consider the colors of your home, such as your roof, siding, trim, and foundation.  Look at any landscaping surrounding your home, including the driveway, large plantings, or trees.  You may want to select colors that enhance these existing features or hues that will tie these elements together for a more coordinated look.

Prior to making a final decision it’s important to talk with a service professional about the specific stain color you are considering, as they will be able to provide additional guidance.  Dark colors tend to look even darker over a large area.  Reds and yellow-browns frequently appear more red and yellow.  Some mottled colors look exaggerated over a large area and other mottling effects can be completely lost.  The natural color or grain pattern of the wood itself can greatly influence the final color.  Semi-transparent stains will allow the fence’s original wood grain and coloring to come through.

The service professionals at Bright Services are happy to assist you with the selection of a stain color for your cedar fence.  Give us a call today at 215-357-3058.

Fuzzy Wood vs. Splintered Wood

The use of a power washer is a great way to speed up the process of cleaning an exterior deck.  Many homeowners and contractors utilize a power washer when maintaining their deck or completing a deck restoration project.  Just like any tool, there can be right and wrong ways to operate a power washer.

Power Washer Tips

The word “tips” refers to a the end of the power washer lance.  A “tip” can be replaced depending on the amount of water and the amount of pressure that is desired.  This is where the untrained and the less experienced make the most detrimental mistakes.  Tips usually start at 0 degrees and go up to 90 degrees.  The degree rating is the width of the water that comes out of the end of the lance.  The larger degree tip, the less pressure.  Too often we see 0 degree tips being used and damage is sure to occur.  For deck restoration and rinsing of the cleaners/strippers a maximum of a green or 40 degree tip should be used.

Fuzzy Appearance

The fuzzy appearance on wood after it has been cleaned is the byproduct of using cleaners and strippers.  This is a natural occurrence and you should not be alarmed.  Over time the fuzzy appearance will go away.  Splinters on the other hand should not be present after a proper cleaning of wood.  When splinters occur, it is due to the use of too much pressure.  See the pictures below for an example of each.

Spring Deck Cleaning and Staining

Spring has arrived! Someone knock on wood, quick!  We are all looking forward to the warmer weather and the ability to go outdoors again.  The winter months force us to hibernate and keep to ourselves…that is unless you are able to endure the harsh cold climate we live in during the winter months.

The spring cleanup plan is in full effect starting in March.  Some of the common to do list items are as follows:

  • Exterior house pressure wash
  • Deck cleaning or deck staining
  • Patio pressure washing
  • Raking the yard
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Yard fertilizing

Bright Services offers a variety of the above services.  When it comes to the exterior of your home and deck restoration, the earlier in the spring the better.  It is so much easier to clean the deck before the furniture and barbeque grill have been taken out of storage and put back on the deck.  NADRA – the North American Deck and Railing Association has a great checklist for maintaining your exterior deck.  In addition, get the outdoor projects completed before the plants and vegetation are in full bloom.  Now is the time to get started on those outdoor spring to do items!

Cedar Shake Roof Maintenance

Cedar Shake and Cedar Shingle roofs have been installed for hundreds of years.  They have proven their longevity in all weather conditions and in all different climates.  They are a natural resource and the beauty is unmatched.  The oils that are naturally found in cedar, helps make them naturally decay resistant.  Maintenance plays a large role in the longevity of a roof.

Dampness is the number one contributor to premature failure of a cedar shake or cedar shingle roof.  The presence of leaves, debris, algae and moss are all harmful to a roof.  The presence of these items prevent the roof from breathing properly, therefore keeping the roof damp for longer periods of time.  This will in turn, cause damage to the shakes and shingles.

The following are recommendations for cedar shake roof homeowners:

  • Keep the keyways or the spaces between the shakes and shingles clear of debris.  This can be accomplished by the roof being blown off.
  • Low hanging branches should be kept trimmed and away from the roof.  This will prevent leaves from accumulating and will allow the sun to hit the roof – decreasing dry time.
  • Gutters and Downspouts should be cleaned regularly – In the Fall and Spring.
  • Proper internal ventilation and insulation will allow the proper temperature of the roof throughout the year.  To much heat loss during the winter months into the attic or areas of the roof; can cause melting of snow near the peak of the roof and ice formation on the edge of the roof – leading to ice damming.

Types of Siding – Pressure Washing Safe

The advancements in exterior home surfaces has come a long way over the past half a century.  It is amazing to think that in the early 1960’s was the first introduction of vinyl siding.  Today it competes as one of the most widely used exterior home surfaces.  Additional types of siding are as follows:

  • Aluminum Siding
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Stucco Siding
  • Wood Siding
  • Brick and Masonry Siding

All of the above siding surfaces can be and should be cleaned.  Over time contaminants grow and can easily be removed.  The trick, however, is to use proper technique, pressure and cleaners.  To often pressure washing is thought of to be a negative.  This comes from the reality that there are many people that are untrained and using the wrong technique causing damage.  Hire a professional to do the work to ensure your siding is properly maintained using safe pressure washing methods.

Pressure Washing – House Wash

House washing is a very affordable way to increase both your homes curb appeal and its value.  Routinely maintaining the exterior of your home will keep it looking its best and preventing damage.

There are three common problems with house washing.  These problems can still be present after properly pressure washing a home.

  • Oxidation: When metal is exposed to rain and humidity, it slowly deteriorates and causes oxidation.  As oxidation occurs, the metal starts to stain a grayish film, which during the hotter months of the year bakes on.  A prime example of this is usually found on gutters.
  • Shotgun and Artillery Fungus: These are also known as the “tiny black specks”.
  • Runoff: When power washing or pressure washing a home, a small amount of water will get behind the siding.  Hours after washing, the water will start to make its way onto the exterior surface of the siding.