The Teak Decking serve as being one of the best non slip surfaces available (wet or dry). This aspect, coupled with its natural a esthetic beauty visually, means that just about every yacht over 15 meters has a teak deck.
A well laid teak deck should last at least 20 years minimum. It all comes down to the way it is looked after.
The Teak although it’s a potentially durable material for marine use, the teak used in decking can quickly deteriorate if not cared for correctly, leaving the owner with a significant bill for repair or replacement. Don’t underestimate this; a new teak deck for a 40-foot boat will cost upwards of $20,000 (and it’s a bill that all too frequently comes as an unpleasant surprise to the owner).
Many people use acid to clean their decks. This just exacerbates the problem. Acid washing the deck not only makes the soft pulp of the teak wear off faster, it also breaks down the UV inhibitors of the caulking. The caulking starts to break down under sunlight, leaving sticky black marks on hands, feet and clothes. Another problem with acid washing, aside from the environmental impact is it also affects the bond between the teak and the caulking. When this bond fails, water can travel down to the sub deck. If this happens, and the sub deck is steel or aluminum, you can start to get corrosion problems. This in turn can lead, potentially, to removal of the teak, as this is the only way to rectify the problem. This is why it is so important that the sub deck and the teak are bonded together well, without voids.
- Teak deck care is simple. Never use a pressure washer, hard brushes or Acid washes. Just a light brush across the grain with a soft soapy brush or a soft scotch pad is sufficient to remove any dirt.
- Fresh water is the enemy of teak. If you find that during the winter for example, you notice mould or mildew growing, making the teak look dirty, after a wash down (and whilst the deck is still wet) sprinkle salt all over the teak and lightly brush it in. Leave in the sun for a few days or even a week and then wash it off. You will be surprised how clean and white the deck then looks.
- If you notice persistent wet areas on deck after a wash down, don’t just ignore it, they are a sign of problems. Normally it’s along the seam that a damp area will persist, but upon closer inspection it could be that the rubber bond to the teak has failed and the water is entering and sitting in the split. This water will eventually work its way down to the sub deck. If you have various wet spots like I’ve described, you need call a professional to have a look.
- Every two years is recommending giving the deck a light sanding.
It’s always a mistake to ignore problems as they pop up, because they can escalate surprisingly quickly until the only option is to replace the entire deck. For a good maintenance in your teak deck the best you can do is call a company with the proper experience to avoid irreversible mistakes on your teak decks
Effective boat flooring maintenance can certainly save you money in both the short and long-term.
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