As you look through pictures of your vacation house on the lake over the years, you may notice that your deck is a very different color from 10 or even 5 years ago. What causes your Teak deck to change colors, and does it affect the quality or safety of the deck?
Well, many forget that wood is indeed an organic, living material that is sure to change over time due to climate and environmental factors. There is certainly going to be a change in color from the day it was initially installed to years later after it has oxidized and been exposed to the elements. In many cases, the color becomes softer and/or darker as the sunlight “tans” the wood.
Teak, however, is different because the changes in color are often drastic. Teak, with its golden brown consistent color, is often chosen for decking and boat decking, both applications that demand a consistent color in the finished product. As Teak is kiln dried and then properly seasoned, the initial colors are different than the end product. Streaks of black, brown, green, yellow, and even blue may be present as you install the decking, and chances are your customer may ask, “Where is the signature golden yellow-brown color I thought Teak was supposed to be?”
J. Gibson McIlvain Company recently took several samples of Teak after it was kiln dried and placed in it different environments. After being kept in a dark closet for 6 months, the color hadn’t faded very much at all. After one year, the color evened out, but the dark streaks remained. The moral of these examples is that teak isn’t meant to be kept in a closet. It is meant to be installed in the sun, allowing for that rich, golden color to shine through as the streak colors fade.
The simple answer is that it may take a few months for that signature look to appear in a Teak deck. The fading time may take a few months, but chances are, you may notice it in only a few weeks. The changes occur in the sunlight, so if you plan to store that wood in a closet somewhere, you won’t notice the signature colors coming out until the wood ends up in direct sunlight. However, build that Teak deck in direct sunlight, and let it “tan” in the UV rays. Within just a few weeks, you will have a beautiful deck begging for compliments on its rich signature color that Teak is well known for.
Regardless of what color it ends up, Teak is still the top choice for building decks due to its durability, stability, and weather resistance. While the natural oils protect from water and weather, they also protect from insect damage. Teak will holds its shape, making it a top choice also for yacht builders.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company serves as one of the largest suppliers of old growth Teak in the U.S. Because of this, they can offer their customers a variety of sizes and thicknesses based on their project needs. If you are looking for an unusual or very wide size (24” or more) and/or very long (20’ or more) size, J. Gibson McIlvain stocks such sizes to serve those in the boating business. Trust that Teak is a top choice for boating and deck building, and recognize that the appearance from day one to year 20 will certainly fade into the signature golden hue that Teak builders desire.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.