Your deck needs TLC just like any other element of your home or landscape. When you don’t perform regular maintenance, your deck suffers and its lifespan is decreased, not to mention safety risks are introduced. This is why you should take the time to maintain and care for your decking so it stays in optimal condition. Check out these deck maintenance basics.

Inspect Your Deck

You should give your deck an inspection once a year. Check for any issues such as loose boards or railings, areas of rot, protruding nails, and more. Fix them or hire a professional to do it immediately before someone gets hurt.

Wash Your Deck Annually

The next step is to clean your deck once a year to reduce the chances of the wood rotting. Use a deck cleaning solution that will kill any bacteria or mold that has been accumulating over the last year. Spread the solution onto the deck with a broom or pressure washer. If you decide to use a pressure washer, be careful. Use a low setting so as not to gouge the wood. Hold the nozzle well away from the surface to avoid damage.

Don’t use chlorine bleach because it will rob the wood of its natural color. Instead, use a product with a non-chlorine or acid base.

Apply Stain

Stain is a great way to preserve the natural look of the wood. Go with a clear or lightly stained finish as opposed to colored or heavily-pigmented stains, which will show wear and tear more readily and may flake and peel. Be sure to use a stain that soaks into the wood rather than just sits on the surface.

The stain you buy should be completely waterproof, rather than just water resistant. It should also offer ultraviolet (UV) protection to prevent fading. If mildew growth is a concern, use a deck stain containing mildewcide.

Seal the Deck

To prepare, cover all plants, decor, and surrounding objects with a tarp for protection, or remove them altogether. Apply sealant to the deck with a paintbrush, paint roller, or sprayer. A sprayer is the easiest and quickest, but it’s more difficult to control and doesn’t apply the sealant as thickly as brushes or rollers do. Start with a thin coat, then apply a second coat if needed. Use a paintbrush to apply sealant in areas that could not be reached with the roller or sprayer.

Deck Maintenance Tips

  • Check the weather before staining your deck. You want to make sure you will have at least two days of dry weather before applying stain.
  • Not sure if your deck needs sealing? Sprinkle a couple of drops of water on it. If it seeps into the wood, you should reseal. If it beads up, sealing isn’t an immediate concern.
  • Deck maintenance can be a DIY project for many homeowners, but you may be best off hiring an expert, depending on the issue facing your deck and its current condition. Hiring a pro will help you avoid costly mistakes and hassles.

Contact Alamo Decks and Fence

To get a free quote on your next deck project, contact us at 210-404-4454.

 

 

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