As summer is coming to a close, it’s hard to start thinking about spending less time outside on your deck or in your backyard. But now is the perfect time to plan on giving your deck a little TLC. With all the wear and tear that your deck takes all year long, it’s important to perform maintenance on your deck twice a year to keep it looking great and in good condition.
Maintenance Tips for Wood Decks
Perform these steps twice a year to keep your wood in top shape.
- Prep: Clear the deck of all furniture, plants, barbeque equipment, and all other items. Sweep all debris from the deck.
- Wash: Use a pressure washer to remove dirt and loose wood fibers. Keep the water stream moving to avoid gouging the wood. Let it dry overnight.
- Inspect: Closely inspect your deck for loose, split, or rotten boards. Also look for protruding nails.
- Repair: Remove and replace any bad boards. Remove lose nails and replace.
- Paint or Stain: Use a semi-transparent stain to take advantage of the natural beauty of expensive wood. If you choose to paint, be sure to prep the deck with a stain-blocking oil or alkyd primer first.
- Seal: Cover and protect plants, air conditioners and other items close to the deck. Brush, roll or spray on sealant. Spraying is the fastest, but most difficult to control.
Maintenance Tips for Composite Decks
Although composite decks are low maintenance, they still require bi-annual cleaning. They are also prone to mold, stains and general weathering. Follow these tips to maintain your composite deck.
- Cleaning: For bi-annual cleaning use a cleaning detergent recommended by the manufacturer of your decking material.
- The only type of composite deck that can be power washed is one with an impermeable plastic coating.
- For grease spills or food stains – clean as soon as possible with soap and water.
- Remove leaves and branches to prevent tannic stains. These stains can be removed with a deck brightener with oxalic acid.
- To remove mold, check with your manufacturer for a safe commercial cleaner.
- Place a guard mat underneath your grill.
- Do not use shovels to remove snow or ice in the winter.
Remember, Loudoun Handyman can help you with maintaining or repairing your deck. Don’t hesitate to contact us for an estimate.