The deck is simply an extension of your outdoor living space, and it’s exposed to all the harsh weather conditions in your area. Establishing and maintaining a regular maintenance routine can be vital in keeping your deck in good condition. This can also help prevent expensive repairs in the future.
Here are a few deck maintenance tips to keep in mind.
Wash the Deck
The easiest and the most effective maintenance practice for decks or any other outdoor structure is proper and regular cleaning. There are a few cleaning techniques though that must be used. First of all, start by clearing any large sized debris on the deck area. Use a putty knife to clear off debris on deck boards too. Areas where the deck boards cross the joists tend to have the highest accumulation of debris. Pay close attention to each of them.
Make sure that the plants and the shrubs on the deck are protected during the cleaning process. You can cover them with plastic sheeting before you start the job. Once the plants are covered, sweep the deck very carefully. Finally, use the right cleanser to complete the job. Cleansers do vary and the choice you go for is determined by the type of deck you have. Wooden decks will require a standard cleanser while composite decking may require a more specific cleaner designed for this role. Whichever cleaning agent you choose, make sure it’s recommended for the type of decking that you have.
Seal the Deck
Sealing the deck will also play an important role in protecting it against tough weather conditions. There are different types of sealers but it’s often better to use clear sealers that allow the wood’s natural grain and color to show through. You can also use toners in sealing but they also need to be transparent or semitransparent.
Sealers or toners should be applied at least once a year for the best results. The best time to do this is late spring. In order to get the job done, you will need protective gear. Here’s what to do:
- Wait for a clear and moderate temperature day to apply the sealer
- Start by dusting off the deck and sand it slightly
- Pay attention for any missing nails and screws before you seal
- Once you are sure everything is fine, apply the sealers and toners as instructed by the manufacturers
Inspect and Repair
Deck maintenance must also involve regular inspections just to be sure nothing is wrong. Always look for any signs of rot on the wood. Sometimes the rotting areas may be big to see clearly but in other cases, they may be tiny spots that will need a keen eye to notice. Always take your time when you inspect.
Check out the ledge too. The ledge is an important piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house.It can be very prone to wear and tear so keeping a look at it is very important. Ensure that all the nails and screws are in place. Don’t also forget to inspect the remaining joists, beams, and posts to ensure they are in good condition. Regular deck inspection isolates small issues before they become bigger, costly ones.
There are a few other maintenance tips too to keep in mind.
Keeping your deck in good condition even in the hardest climatic conditions is possible. All you need is a regular maintenance routine and that’s it. The simple tips above should help you with this particular task.
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- To start with, keep the shrubs and trees around the deck short and tidy. The trees need to be at least 12 inches from the deck. This will prevent accumulation of leaves and other debris.
- Always move the planters and the deck furniture occasionally to prevent deck discoloration.
- Clean your deck when you can. Don’t let the leaves and the debris to accumulate for too long.