August 5, 2016
Tips for Maintaining and Repairing Wood Decks
When the weather is nice, your deck can be one of the most popular areas for your family to relax.
Whether your deck includes a cook out area with a brightly colored umbrella, surrounds the family pool or overlooks the ocean, you want it to keep looking as fresh and inviting as it did the day you had it installed.
In order to achieve this goal, your deck requires regular maintenance and repair.
Moisture is a Deck’s Enemy
Although your deck will be exposed to elements such as rain or snow, moisture is not its friend. Mud tracked on the deck, leaves that are not removed and spills can all stain or damage your deck. Spill should be cleaned as quickly as possible, just as you would a spill in your home. Sweep or blow fallen leaves from the deck regularly in order to avoid them becoming wet and damaging the flooring. Stuck-on debris can be cleaned with a mixture of household bleach and water. Once each season, have your deck power washed to remove caked on dirt and grime. After a rainstorm, remove any outdoor rugs or other items that may retain moisture and damage the deck underneath.
Returning to Natural Luster
Over time, you may notice that your deck has become dingy, gray and rough. You can return your deck to its natural look with a sander. Simply sand the deck to remove any rough patches and bring out the original color of the wood. Although power washing may also return the deck to its natural color, it may leave rough spots. Use a sander to remove those spots after you complete your power washing.
Seal to Protect
The best way to keep your deck looking as new as the day you installed it is to apply a penetrating sealer each year after cleaning it thoroughly. Be sure the deck is completely dry before applying the sealer and that you have sanded any rough areas. Many of today’s sealers provide UV protection as well as chemicals that prevent the buildup of mildew. Many also repel water. Be sure to choose a sealant that is meant for the type of wood in your deck as each type of wood requires a different sealer. If your deck is faded, consider using a sealer with stain included to add color and protect the wood at the same time.
Warped Boards and Nails
If your deck was built using nails, consider replacing the nails with screws. As wood swells with temperature changes and humidity, nails may become loose. When the nails loosen, replace them with screws which will fasten the deck boards more tightly. Even chemically treated wood can warp over time, so be sure to replace any warped deck boards. Warped boards present a tripping hazard and should be corrected as soon as possible. Be sure to secure railings and fix any posts that have fallen as well.
These tips can help keep your deck looking as beautiful as it did the day it was built. In addition, they will keep your deck safe, allowing your family and friends to enjoy it for many years to come. For more information on deck maintenance and repair, contact Tri-County Exteriors today.