A deck is often one of the most enviable features of a home, adding significantly to the external architectural design and living comfort. It provides an avenue to enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of your home and spend quiet time with family and friends in the fresh air. Since decks are exposed to external weather elements, they require considerable maintenance to enhance their useful life. Below is a list of some do’s and don’ts to help you reap the maximum benefit from your deck.
- Inspect your deck often – look for signs of rot
All types of wood are prone to rot, particularly if they stay wet for a long duration. If your deck is built using pressure-treated lumber rated for ground contact, it will be fairly resistant to rot. If it was built of untreated redwood, cedar, or other wood, there is a greater risk of rot. It is strongly recommended that you regularly examine your deck for signs of rot. Most starting signs of rot are hard to spot and require careful examination – under the boards, at the ledger, etc. You can also occasionally use a blower to dry out your deck and avoid moisture accumulation.
If you notice a rot and it is fairly small, approximately the size of a coin, it can be removed with a chisel. On the other hand, larger rots may require professional repairs by an experienced contractor to avoid further damage.
Clean your deck at regular intervals
It is highly recommended to thoroughly clean your deck at least once a year. You can start by using a blower or broom to clear all the leaves and debris from the deck surface. Next, you can scrub it using a utility brush and a commercial deck cleaner that removes mildew, oxidation (graying), and dirt. Do not use chlorine bleach for cleaning since it can damage the wooden surface. The deck can also be cleaned by renting a power washer, but this should only be done by experienced professionals to avoid damaging the wood. If you are looking to pressure wash your wood, get in touch with us for a free estimate.
Seal or stain your deck
Most decks require sealers and toners to be applied annually. Your finish options include:
- Clear sealer that lets the wood’s natural grain and color show through
- Toner that adds a bit of color but fully reveals the grain and provides some protection against sunlight (ultraviolet or UV light)
- Semi-transparent stain that tints the wood, but lets some grain show
- Solid stain and opaque color that seals weathering damage and completely covers the grain
We hope this list will help you keep your deck in top-notch condition for a long time. Please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for our list of dos and don’ts for maintaining a deck. We would be happy to incorporate your ideas. If you are planning to build a deck or patio, or want to repair or restore your existing one, MW Construction can provide you with top-class services at a reasonable price irrespective of the size of your project. To get a free estimate to build or repair a deck in the South Jersey area, reach out to us.