Your wooden deck takes a beating throughout the years. It’s exposed to harsh weather conditions and natural elements, plenty of foot traffic, and is susceptible to nasty fungal spores.
Without proper maintenance and care you can prevent your deck from rotting, molding, and deteriorating.
Follow these deck maintenance tips to keep your deck looking tip-top.
Inspect, Prepare, and Repair
Every year you give your deck an overall, thorough inspection. This is the time to check for loose boards or protruding furniture. If you find rotted boards, replace them as soon as possible and make repairs as quickly as you can. This includes tightening loose boards and railings.
Deep Clean Once a Year
It’s important for deck maintenance that you do a deep clean and ‘exfoliation’ so that protective sealers can work better. This should be done in spring when the weather is warmer but the heat of the sun won’t evaporate the cleaner immediately.
Remove debris from between deck boards using a putty knife. You can also use a pressure washer to do this but be sure to keep the water stream constantly moving and aimed between the boards so the pressure doesn’t gouge the wood.
Follow the instructions carefully on the deck cleaner of your choice. You can use a paint roller, garden sprayer, or broom to apply the cleaner to the deck. Avoid allowing the cleaning solution to pool on the deck but let it soak for the time required according to instructions.
Make sure to rinse the deck properly and completely once the cleaning chemicals have done their work.
Seal the Deck
The best way to preserve the wood deck is to seal it. Your deck should be properly dry before you attempt to seal it. Wait two days after cleaning to ensure this.
You can buy sealers at a home store or get professionals to do the job for you. Just as you’ll need to clean your deck annually, you’ll need to seal it annually too.
Paint or Stain
It depends on your preferences whether you’d like to paint the deck or retain the natural color with a lightly stained finish. Avoid solid stain as over time it will start to peel and your deck maintenance DIY job will become a whole lot harder.
How to Seal a Deck
Take your time to find a good sealant, such as Seal-Once, which is water repellent and offers UV protection
Lightly sand the deck to remove any splinters that arose during the cleaning process. Ensure that you’ve done all the necessary repairs, especially removing or hammering nails.
Put down tarps to protect surrounding plants and other items. You can apply the sealant using a paint roller or brush to three or four boards at a time in a thin layer. You want to avoid the sealant drying or puddling before you’re done.
New Deck Maintenance Tips
New decks need a little more love to ensure a long and healthy life. Professional cleaning is recommended to guarantee that all mildew spores are properly killed.
You should wait around two months after the deck is built to allow the wood to age before you clean and seal it.
A Long Life for Your Wooden Deck
If you follow these deck maintenance tips you can keep your deck looking new and enjoy it for years to come. Take your time choosing great cleaning and sealing products and apply them annually.
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