Teak Refinishing in Los Angeles

Refinishing outdoor furniture, decks or other structures made of teak can restore the wood to its original beauty. If cared for properly, objects made from this strong, resilient hardwood often last more than 100 years.

Teak wood's natural oily resins, called "tectoquinones," repel termites and help the wood resist rot. Because of teak wood's natural oils, finishes that work well on other types of wood may not adhere to teak. Paint and varnishes often peel. Applied oils sometimes stay on the surface instead of soaking into the wood, providing an ideal medium for growing algae, mildew and mold.

Teak decks and outdoor furniture in the coastal neighborhoods like Venice or Malibu regularly experience the effects of coastal weather. Temperature inversions trap the moist, dense air that comes inland from the Pacific Ocean below a mass of warmer air. The trapped air, or "marine layer," often appears as condensation or fog. Although teak has high natural resistance to moisture damage, constant exposure to damp air can harm the wood's surface.

The Santa Ana winds take their toll on outdoor teak in the Los Angeles area. These start out as cool winds from the deserts of Nevada and Utah. By the time the winds reach Los Angeles, they are so hot and dry that they draw moisture from plants, skin, furniture and decks. Wind speed increases drying, and rapid drying sometimes causes outdoor teak to form cracks.

Winds create other hazards for teak decks and outdoor furniture. High winds sometimes pick up dust, grit, sand or particles of ocean spray laden with salt. The wind whips these particles across the wood's surface. Further, the Los Angeles area experiences a high rate of wildfires. Winds cause such fires to spread rapidly. At times, winds carry hot embers, soot and particles of ash that precipitate from the air onto whatever surfaces lie beneath.

City life poses additional hazards. In highly populated areas such as Venice, located not far from the Los Angeles International Airport, large quantities of engine exhaust fumes enter the air. In and around Los Angeles, air pollution readings are higher than the national average. Corrosive gases in polluted air, such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone, cause surface deterioration when they come in contact with teak. Because nitrogen dioxide is a strong oxidizer, unfinished teak exposed to air containing this substance also turns gray more rapidly than normal.

Persons living in colder areas of Los Angeles County may discover that the cold weather has damaged their teak outdoor furniture or decking. High moisture content in teak can cause cracks to form if the wood is exposed to temperatures below freezing. The teak itself naturally contracts when it is cold. Water, however, expands as it turns to ice. Thus, the simultaneous forces of expansion and contraction exert pressures inside the wood. The effects of expansion and contraction also can cause joints to work loose.

The processes to refinish teak depend on the type and extent of damage that has occurred. Often, the first step is to remove dirt, residue and mold with a mild cleaner. The next step may be to remove finishes that show signs of deterioration. If any parts have loosened or pulled apart, restoration may include gluing and clamping. Alternatively, a replacement part may be required. Cracks might be filled with marine grade epoxy or repaired with small pieces of teak cut to fit.

All surfaces are sanded to remove defects and surface damage, restore the texture of the wood, and bring out its natural beauty. Further steps are required to clean and brighten the freshly sanded wood and add a protectant against mold. Sealers that penetrate the wood are then applied to assist in keeping the teak looking new. These sealers greatly reduce damage from the elements.

Teak Refinishing Companies in the Los Angeles Area

One company in the Los Angeles area stands above the rest. Specializing in exterior wood restoration, Teak Masters has an A + rating with the Better Business Bureau and more than 17 years of experience working with teak. Our environmentally conscious company has more than 10,000 satisfied customers. Mobile crews provide flexibility, allowing projects to be refinished right where they are or at the company's shops. If you have outdoor teak that needs to be refinished, call us at 1-888-448-8325 or send an e-mail message via the webform above.