A wooden deck is a beautiful component to a home or cottage which is why it is important to maintain it. To ensure the longevity of your wooden deck, find seven best practices for deck maintenance below.
1. No Paint or Solid Stains
Paint and solid stains might look great at first, but after a while the finishes will eventually peel and become highly challenging to maintain. Alternatively, you can use oil-based stains, as opposed to water based paints and stains, because they protect your deck while still fading naturally and gradually.
2. Grease Catcher
For the avid barbeque fans, be sure to use a grease trap on your grilling device. Grease stains leave a nasty mark on wood and are very difficult to get rid of.
3. Avoid Trapping Debris
If you have flower planters on your deck, place them on top of cement blocks to avoid trapping dirt and moisture on the surface. If dirt and moisture is trapped, you may experience issues with fungus and pollen which can damage and discolour the wood.
In addition, regularly sweeping your deck to remove dirt, leaves and other debris that can cause staining will help keep your deck in mint condition. In the wintertime, moving snow as quickly as possible helps too.
4. Clean and Seal
Every two to three years, you should get your deck professionally cleaned and sealed. By doing so, your deck will be protected from the weathering of the sun, rain and other elements.
If you opt out of professional cleaning and sealing and do it yourself instead, make sure to perform the tasks on an annual basis. The cost of a professional pays for itself in a way since you don’t need to clean and seal as frequently, however, to each their own.
5. Wash Your Deck
In the late spring, clean your deck fully to remove any built up gunk from the wintertime. This is your chance to really get at all the nitty gritty parts of your deck, such as removing twigs and rocks from the cracks.
After selecting your wooden deck cleaner, be sure to wash your deck on a cloudy day when your deck is dry and the sun won’t evaporate the cleaner. An easy way to apply cleaner to a wooden deck is with a paint roller, garden sprayer or stiff bristle broom. Make sure the cleaner doesn’t pool as you apply it. Lastly, don’t let the deck dry until it’s fully been scrubbed, then use clean water to wash away the cleaner after the appropriate soak time has passed as per the cleaner directions.
6. Inspect Your Deck for Rot
If the wood used to build your deck is redwood, cedar or any other wood, it is highly susceptible to rot. On the other hand, pressure treated wood meant for ground contact is at less risk for rot. That being said, you should check your wood for rot on occasion regardless of the wood used, particularly if you live in an area with a lot of moisture and rain.
Not all wood rot is obvious, be sure to take the time to check inconspicuous areas too, like under stairs. If a single board is rotten, it is simple to replace on your own. Although, for larger rot, consider hiring professional help to remove and replace the rotten areas.
7. Address Repairs as Soon as Possible
Rotten boards, loose boards, loose nails and any other issues with your deck should be addressed as soon as they come up. If they are ignored, it may result in you having to replace your entire deck which is costly and time consuming.