Are you the proud owner of an outdoor wooden deck? If so, then you’re probably familiar with the work it takes to maintain and care for such a large structure. While most people choose wooden decks because they add a nice aesthetic touch to their home, the materials you choose for your deck can make all the difference. It will determine how long it will last without maintenance and how much care it will need between staining or sealing treatments. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your deck looking its best over time.
Cleaning Up Deck
To start, you’ll want to be sure the deck is clean. Remove any large debris, like leaves and twigs, with a stiff broom. If the wood still looks dirty, you can power wash it, but make sure the water pressure isn’t too high, or else you might damage the wood. Use detergents and mildew removers to remove stains and mildew or mold (if present). Household bleach will help to kill and clean off mold and mildew. Make sure to mix bleach with water and pre-test your solution on a small area before treating the entire deck. Let your cleaner sit on the deck for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with a garden hose. Contact your local deck maintenance experts if you can’t achieve desired results.
Fasteners tend to rust, especially after several years in damp Chicago weather. Luckily it’s not hard to replace deck screws or bolts with longer-lasting decking ones. It may seem like a hassle, but even replacing a few fasteners can go a long way toward extending your deck’s life. Not to mention all the safety issues that can arise from broken deck hardware.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and salt on the roads, make sure you don’t put any on your deck. The salt will corrode away at everything—including rusting nuts, joist brackets, and other hardware that helps hold together your deck structure. Instead, try to remove the snow from your deck as soon as possible before it turns to ice.
Inspect your deck every spring for loose boards and rusting hardware. Contact Deck Doc for a consultation if you notice any issues.
Structural Issues Of Your Deck
Unattended or neglected decks are typically home to structural issues like crumbling support beams, rotted wood, sinking concrete supports. If you don’t take care of these problems quickly, they can compromise your deck’s integrity and make it a hazard for visitors. Always inspect your deck for structural issues, such as rotting supports or weak boards that may need replacing. We would not recommend fixing any of the deck’s structural problems yourself. But if you do, make sure you understand your local building codes and safety requirements.
Stain the Deck
Staining your deck is a great way to protect it from damage, hide any imperfections and help preserve its life. Wood stains are formulated to penetrate the wood and protect it from moisture and sun. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve and the age of your deck, we recommend using different stains. Solid stains are recommended on older prior stained decks. Semi-transparent stains look very good on newer decks. The stains you’re going to use also depend on where you live. Your climate zone has a massive impact on how long it’s going to last. So before you go out and buy or order online stain for your deck, make sure to consult your local deck staining company to avoid costly mistakes.
Seal The Deck
For new decks, a translucent sealer is a way to go. It looks great when applied to the new boards. It gives the desired sheen and preserves its natural appearance while protecting the deck from the elements. There is a wide range of sealers out there. Make sure when choosing the product to pick the one formulated for your climate zone. It will significantly extend your deck’s life and provide it with the desired look.
Preparation of the deck before staining and sealing plays a vital role in the process. Familiarize yourself with the steps you’ll have to take to prepare your deck for the project. This might involve sanding your deck using cleaners and wood brighteners. Without proper preparation, wood will not take the stain, and your deck will either look ununiform or peel prematurely.
It is always easier and cheaper to take proper care of your deck than to replace it. With timely maintenance, your deck will last for many years. So make sure to:
1 Keep it clean and dry.
2 Keep it snow-free in the winter.
3 Inspect for corrosion and lose boards.
4 Re-stain or re-seal regularly.
Contact Deck Doc if you’re looking for someone to help you with any of these tasks. We provide free consultation and estimates.