deck_maintenance

Annual Maintenance Extends the Life of Your Deck

Nothing (we can think of) beats great barbecue sandwiches and outdoor family fun. Sometimes the fun happens on an outdoor deck.

Follow our tips and advice to keep you deck safe and maintained throughout the season!

To ensure years of carefree, easy living on your deck, take time each year for an inspection and (if needed) some simple preventative maintenance.  See the 5 warning signs of an unsafe deck.

TIP :: Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloring the decking. Keep nearby gutters and downspouts in good repair.

The finish protecting your deck won’t last forever, so plan on cleaning and resealing your deck at least every other year. Here are a few tips.

Follow These Steps

  • If your deck doesn’t have any stubborn stains, wash it thoroughly with a mild household detergent. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Choose a two-day period when you’ll have clear skies and moderate temperatures.
  • To get rid of mildew, scrub the area with a combination of water and household bleach, or use a commercial deck-cleaning product.
  • Replace protruding nails with deck screws slightly longer than the nail. If a nail only slightly protrudes, you may do more harm than good trying to pull it out. Pound it home. TIP: When pulling out the nail with a hammer or pry bar, use a scrap of wood as a fulcrum for greater leverage and to avoid damaging the deck.
  • Protective stains are the preferred finish for decks, therefore ask for one specifically designed for outdoor use. Penetrating oil-based stains, which protect beneath the surface of the wood, are best.
  • Use a roller to apply the sealer to the decking, covering three or four boards at a time. Use brushes and small rollers for railings, planters, and benches. Don’t let the sealant dry or puddle. Two thin coats is better than one thick one. TIP: Deck sealants aren’t required or recommended for composite decks, although some composite decking can be stained to restore its color. Be sure the product is intended for composites. Don’t expect the same density of color that you would achieve with wood.
  • Use a clear or semi-transparent stain if you like wood grain to show through.
  • Solid-color stains are best if you prefer the painted look.
  • Remember, if your deck has already been painted, you won’t be able to stain over it. Thoroughly scrape the deck, and repaint it with an exterior latex- or alkyd-base floor paint.
  • When possible, clear finishes, such as varnish or polyurethane, should be avoided. They don’t stand up as well against moisture and sunlight.

Are you concerned about deck safety? Call us! We’re happy to help keep you safe!

We Speak House!

Home Inspector – Home Builder and Building Consultant/Coach

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