Installing a new deck is a big undertaking that requires great financial commitment and proper care to maintain its beauty and integrity. Many people enjoy the benefits of having a deck during summer as it is a great time for entertaining and having fun. Although it makes an excellent addition to your backyard, it may accumulate stains, dirt, and grime over time reducing your deck’s lifespan. You can always get it looking brand new as long as you show commitment to generable upkeep. This makes it more manageable and any signs of damage can always be corrected as soon as possible. This article looks at top five deck maintenance tips you should know if you want to keep your deck in good condition.
- Deck Cleaning
Regular deck cleaning helps to remove leaves, dirt, and debris from the gaps between the deck boards. Allowing dirt and garden matter to accumulate on your deck can result in serious problems like rotting. Water and moisture are trapped between the dead leaves and the deck surface, forming an active recipe for mold growth. Stagnant water not only damages the timber but also breeds bugs and other disease-causing insects such as mosquitos. Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your deck, as it will damage the coatings. Use mild and gentle cleaning products specifically designed for your deck material. Use a deck brush to scrub in smooth motions to flush out dirt and debris from the gaps between the boards.
- Deck Sealing
A deck sealer is a transparent finish that forms a clear film on top or penetrates the wood. It helps to reduce water intrusion and locks out moisture from causing damage on the deck’s surface. Unwanted moisture causes wood rot leading to extensive damage that is costly to repair. It can also lead to mold growth, which can lead to serious health problems to you and your family. It is important to know that a deck sealer does not offer protection from the sun. Sealing helps to repel moisture and water from your deck to avoid structural damage.
- Deck Staining
A deck stain has an added tone or pigment that gives it color. The opacity of the added pigment allows the stain to reduce sun damage since UV rays are harmful to the exterior wood. Unprotected and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and graying of the deck surface. It can also lead to cracking and splitting on the deck boards, as it dries up the natural oils preserved in wood. The darker the pigment or color added to the stain, the more sun protection it will provide. You can always choose from a wide range of different shades and tones such as redwood, walnut, cedar and natural.
- Routine Checkups
The best time to give a close inspection to your deck’s structure is when the weather is warm and dry. Look for signs of rot on each perimeter post, and the place where the stringers meet the ground. You can do this by probing the wood using a flat-blade screwdriver. If it goes down easily into the suspected area, then there is a high probability of rot. Inspect your ledger for any signs of structural damage as well as the joists, posts, and beams. Give a good shake to your railing to be certain that the posts are not loose. Loose connections can be remedied by adding galvanized lag screws and driving pilot holes. It is important to inspect your deck even if you have the feeling that everything looks okay.
- Perform Necessary Repairs
Wood rot, damaged posts, or loose railing can quickly destabilize your deck if you do not take care of the situation beforehand. Although many decks can last for decades before they can be replaced, there is still a need to make necessary repairs sooner than that. Rusted fixtures or broken fittings need to be replaced as soon as you find them. Early response to signs of damage prevents costly repairs in the future. This improves the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your deck all year round. If you do not know what to do, it is best to call a professional as they have the right skillset and experience to handle any problems with your deck.
Although the wood material used on a deck does not last forever, following these maintenance tips helps to ensure your deck looks great for as long as possible. Proper care is essential to extending the beauty and integrity of your deck. Perform regular deck inspection and do the necessary repairs as soon as you notice any defects to avoid costly maintenance in the future.