Wood is a natural material that will react to the elements and for that reason it is important that you take care of any exterior structures that may get beat by the hot summer sun.
This year has been especially hot and dry and although you may think at first that dry wood is good you might also notice that the spaces between your decking are getting wider and if you have any cracks they also seem to be getting bigger.
This is because the small amount of moisture in the wood that inflates the cells of the wood fiber .. just like water in a water melon makes it larger or grapes are fuller then raisins.
Although kiln dried wood removes water from green wood it is still necessary to care for your wood by protecting it.
You may have seen a wood table that was left out in the sun or maybe a deck chair that started off as beautiful hardwood only to endup checked and cracked. This is because the sun is dehydrating the wood and removing too much moisture from the cells.
So should you apply lotion on your deck? No but a good coating of stain and protectant that keeps your deck in good condition in the winter will also help in the summer. When the heat gets to be too much its time that you give your deck a drink and hit it with the hose.
If the wood is protected it will not absorb water as well but a deck that has a year between coatings will react if you simply water it like you would a bush or tree that you see is in trouble.
It does not take a lot of water simply hit the surface with a light shower setting while you are doing other work in the yard.
This will also keep your deck clean and reduce any staining from bird droppings or tree sap.
Taking care of your deck is not rocket science. If you find that your lawn is burnt and your garden is wilting don’t wait until you notice large gaps in the wood or cracks that won’t repair themselves.
Low moisture content also makes the wood prone to damage from insects like termites, carpenter ants, bees and other pests that will burrow into the dry wood.
On the other side of the problem you do not want to create mold or rot so this step is really only necessary when temperatures are in the 90’s for an extended period of time.