Just like any other part of your home, your deck needs periodic maintenance. While it’s easy to overlook small problems, addressing them early on will save you the time and effort of rushing to get them fixed before they get out of hand . Take a look at these 4 tips for maintaining your deck and avoid costly repairs down the line.
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Deck Maintenance Tip #1
Seal the wood on your deck
Sealing your deck’s wood is one of the most important things you can do to prevent further damage and keep it looking good. However, it’s not something that you can do once and forget. You’ll want to reapply the sealant periodically to protect your deck and keep it looking like new.
Applying sealant once a year or every couple years is easy, but it does require some preparation. You’ll want to scrub your deck to remove any dirt build-up, algae, and other stains.
Treating any wood that’s splintering will prevent the sealant from curing improperly. If you neglect the preparation your sealant will wear away quickly, leaving your deck susceptible to further damage.
Most sealers need a day before they dry, so you’ll want to take care in choosing when to tackle this project. You can apply it after high temperatures drop, or you can leave it on overnight. We recommend using a paint roller to apply the sealant; it’s much faster than trying to use a brush.
Deck Maintenance Tip #2
Keep up with deck staining and varnishing
If you have a wooden deck, cleaning and staining it every year is recommended. If the wood is looking a bit dull and worn, a couple coats of wood varnish will rejuvenate it. It only takes a weekend and the results are amazing. Most wood decks will last about 10 years before needing to be replaced anyway, so you may as well keep it looking nice the whole time. Check in with your installer or manufacturer to see what products they recommend for your specific deck.
Deck Maintenance Tip #3
Avoid deck rot at all costs
Rot is probably the biggest threat to the structural integrity of your deck. If you don’t deal with it immediately, you might end up having to rebuild the entire structure. Once the surface of your deck begins to rot, water gets trapped underneath and starts to feed on the bottom layers of your deck. The rot doesn’t stay there, though. It travels up, compromising the strength of the wood, until your deck is completely ruined.
Deck Maintenance Tip #4
Clean your deck regularly
A great measure of how well loved a deck is is how much dirt its accumulated from all the fun it’s seen. Barbecues, snowball fights, and everything in between will quickly take your deck from sharp and shiny to dirty and grimy. It will need a thorough clean every month or two to keep it up to standard for your next adventure. If your deck receives a lot of foot traffic you may want to consider cleaning it every week to make maintenance even easier.
It’s quick and easy to clean your deck at home, but you’ll want to take care to ensure the method/cleaner you’re using is compatible with the kind of deck you have. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to your manufacturer or installer.
Can I save a deck that's been neglected?
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the upkeep required to maintain their new deck. They end up with one that’s been neglected and a potential safety hazard. An unkempt deck will deteriorate, and that brand new beautiful space can turn into an expensive repair project quickly. The best way to know what steps you should take to maintain your deck is by contacting a deck installer and ask for any tips they may have. If you’re unsure of the state of your deck, it’s best to have a professional take a look and give you an honest assessment.
By keeping up with regular deck maintenance you’re sure to have a wonderful space you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
Does all this sound a little intimidating? You may want to consider building your new deck from a composite decking material like Trex. At Clear Choice Contractors, we love installing composite decks because they are extremely low maintenance, last longer than traditional wood, and are more environmentally friendly.
If you’d like to talk about a new deck or saving your old one, fill out the form below or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you