Decks are one part of your home that need care during every season. Establishing a routine maintenance schedule with your deck will keep it in tip top shape. You will also be on top of needed repairs throughout the year saving time and money.
By: Colleen Voisin Date: 9/28/21
Decks that are composite need less maintenance than wooden decks. One of the easiest ways to maintain it is to sweep or blow it. This gets all the leaves, sticks, and other debris off of your deck from mother nature. Plant debris can pile up and it’s a haven for bugs and moisture that your space does not need.
Your decks receive a lot of sunlight. Over time, areas of your deck will start to fade because of the sun. Consider moving plants and furniture around to avoid any discoloration with your wood. Plants and dirt retain moisture that can be a sore spot for your wood.
Keep your landscaping around your deck trimmed back. Cut back nearby trees to minimize debris being blown onto your deck. If debris is left on the deck it can leave stains, create mold, and rot the wood.
Your deck takes a beating from Mother Nature with rain, sun, snow and much more. Walking your deck monthly will allow you to catch any repairs that need to be addressed. Fix floorboards that are starting to warp or rot immediately. If you are not a DIY then be sure to call in the professionals for deck repair.
A deck that is dirty is prone to mold, mildew, and rot. You should wash and clean your deck in the spring and in the fall for proper maintenance. Buy a broom with stiff bristles and a good deck cleaner. Read the labels, some deck cleaners are suited for only wood, composite, or vinyl deck.
Wood decks need a standard wood cleaner. Some require that you spray your deck with water beforehand but others do not. Follow the directions on your bottle for desired results.
Composite decks use a cleaner that is specifically designed for composite materials. Commercial cleaners will remove any grease or oil stains for these types of decks. Vinyl decks can be maintained with a mild soap to remove any dirt, mold, mold, mildew, etc.
In general, some deck cleaners come in a variety of bleach and non bleach formulas. Bleach cleaners will lighten the wood. There are also some eco-friendly cleaners that will not harm your landscaping. Whichever you choose to use, be sure to cover your shrubs with a cloth or plastic tarp.
Many folks use a pressure washer or power washer to remove the cleaner and grim. Be sure to use the fan spray nozzle as other nozzles can tear up the wood and you don’t want that. If you are planning on applying a stain to your deck, allow the deck to dry several days after you cleaned it.
Decks need some type of stain or clear coating to protect the wood. Deck stains/seals can last a while. To test if you need to stain or reseal your deck, pour a cup of water on it. Does it puddle up and roll away or does it seep into the wood? If it seeps in then you need to reseal it. Is the color of your stain fading because of the sunlight? Then it’s time to stain it. Staining and resealing is more of a visual cue.
The best season to stain your deck is either in the spring or fall. This is when the temperatures are ideal and it will not be too hot or too cold to be outside and dry up the cleaner.
Finally, if your deck is in need of a stain the best time to do it is several days after you’ve completed your seasonal cleaning. You need to let the wood dry out for several days after cleaning it. This allows the wood to breath and not trap in moisture under the stain and cause rot.