Installing a backyard deck can provide a beautiful outdoor living space for your home. Without proper maintenance though, the deck can quickly become unsightly, unsafe, and expensive to repair. Implementing timely deck care should be a top priority for any deck owner. Learning key maintenance tips will keep your deck looking its best for years beyond initial construction.
Inspecting the Deck Surface
The deck boards or surface material take the most abuse from weather and foot traffic. At least twice per year, thoroughly inspect boards for cracks, splinters, warping, rotting, or other deterioration. The experts at SPAX recommend paying special attention around hardware like rails, benches, steps, and decking screw holes. Smooth any splinters and replace individual boards as soon as damage appears. Allowing damaged boards to remain can speed up decay of underlying structural supports, resulting in expensive repairs.
Cleaning Off Stains and Debris
Organic debris like leaves, dirt and pollen residue should be swept or blown off deck boards regularly. At least every other month, do a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning. Use a pressure washer on most deck types to remove embedded grime. Soft woods like cedar may require milder cleaning with deck brighteners to avoid digging into the wood grain. Be sure to remove furniture, potted plants, and decor items before spraying down the deck with cleaner or a pressure hose.
Re-Sealing and Waterproofing
Most types of decking material require re-sealing every 1-3 years to prevent moisture damage, mold, and discoloration. Clear waterproof sealants help protect the structural integrity of deck boards while allowing the beauty of the wood or composite grain to show. Be sure to use compatible weatherproofing agents made specifically for the deck board type installed. Follow manufacturer guidelines for reapplication rates. Properly re-sealing your deck every few years will maintain its appearance while adding … Read the rest