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Best Ways To Maintain The Deck

A backyard deck provides an ideal outdoor space for relaxation, entertainment, and other practical uses in your home. Since your deck is constantly exposed to natural elements all year round, it is more likely to accumulate dirt or get damaged, posing a significant threat to your family’s safety.

Performing routine checks and regular maintenance can help keep your deck in perfect condition through all seasons of the year. Not only does it create a sight-friendly environment when it is clean, but also protects you from accidents caused by rotting wood, or cracked chips of wood poking out the surface. This article gives the best ways to maintain your deck.

  • Wash it Down
Overhead view of outdoor wooden deck being remodeled with power and hand tools on floor boards

A deck that remains unwashed for a long time could be prone to mold and mildew. Any section on your deck that allows for mold growth could also cause rot. Use a putty knife to get rid of debris stuck between the deck boards. Work your way around the deck paying special attention to structural components underneath the decking. Before washing down your deck, make sure to protect all potted plants and thoroughly sweep your deck to avoid leaving dirt marks behind. You need to choose an appropriate cleaner for your type of deck i.e., composite, wood, or vinyl.

  • Inspect and Repair Your Deck

The best time to inspect your deck is during warm and dry weather. When doing a deck inspection, you need to check for signs of rot using a flat-blade screwdriver to probe structural members of the deck. Use a chisel to remove rot areas that exceed the size of a silver dollar. However, larger areas of rot may require a replacement of the structural member. Use a flashlight to inspect the ledger underneath your deck. A ledger is an essential piece of framing that connects the deck to your house. Any problem with this section of the deck could cause it to collapse. It is also important to check all other remaining posts, joists, and beams. 

  • Protect it With a Sealant

Stains and sealants are often available at home improvement stores. Some of your finish options should include a clear sealer to let the wood color and natural grain show through, or a toner that slightly adds color but reveals the wood grain fully. A toner provides your deck with some protection against ultraviolet rays from the sun. You can also go for a semi-transparent stain that allows some grain to show but tints the wood. Lastly, you can choose a solid stain that completely covers the grain with opaque color to seal weathering damage. It is recommended to apply toners and clear sealers annually to keep your deck looking as good as new. When reapplying stain finishes, you can either stick to the same color or choose a slightly darker shade.

  • Take Preventive Measures

If you never got the chance to wash and seal your deck in Spring, then Fall will be a good time to get to work because of the mild temperatures. To keep your deck in good shape, you need to trim nearby trees and bushes to prevent branches from sticking out over the deck. It also helps slow down mold and rot. Another preventative measure is to sweep your deck often, especially if your deck is completely covered surrounded by trees. Never let leaves or debris pile up in the corners as they create a potential for future disaster on the structural components of your deck. To avoid discoloring the deck surface, it is important to reposition your tables, chairs, and planters occasionally. You also need to keep nearby downspouts and gutters in good shape.

  • Seek the Help Of A Deck Professional

Although there are many things you can do by yourself to maintain your deck, it is important to contact a deck professional when performing repairs or sealing your deck. Working with a deck professional helps you comply with state codes and regulations in your area. Since they have more years of experience on deck installations than you do, they are more likely to detect the slightest of problems you may be having on your deck. They can get the tricky angles right using their sophisticated tools to deliver the best results.

Keeping up with deck maintenance is essential because it not only protects your investment but also keeps you safe from accidents and other unforeseen problems in the future. Even though you can do some of the maintenance by yourself, you can always seek the help of a deck professional when necessary to ensure any problem with your deck is done correctly.