Cleaning and maintaining your deck on an annual basis will prevent problems and save your investment. Since decks are constantly exposed to the weather, it’s a good idea to develop a care schedule that will safeguard your deck and reduce the need for costly repairs.
Here’s a suggested deck maintenance schedule:
- Spring: Clean the deck and inspect for any damage. Repair any cracks, splinters, or other damage. Apply a fresh coat of stain or sealer to protect the wood.
- Summer: Clean the deck as needed, especially after heavy rain or storms. Check for any signs of wear or damage and address any issues promptly.
- Fall: Clean the deck and inspect for any damage. Repair any cracks, splinters, or other damage. Apply a fresh coat of stain or sealer if necessary.
- Winter: Inspect the deck for any damage caused by snow, ice, or freezing temperatures. Repair any damage and make sure the deck is ready for use in the spring.
Here are some tips for deck maintenance:
- Clean the deck regularly: Use a mild soap and water to clean the deck, and use a pressure washer if necessary.
- Protect the wood: Apply a stain or sealer to protect the wood from the elements and prevent fading. Reapply as needed to maintain the protection.
- Repair any damage promptly: Address any cracks, splinters, or other damage as soon as possible to prevent further damage and extend the life of your deck.
- Keep the deck dry: Avoid letting standing water sit on the deck, and use a roof or awning to provide shade and protect the deck from rain.
- Use furniture pads: Protect the deck from scratches and dents by using furniture pads under chairs, tables, and other outdoor furniture.
Here is a quick maintenance routine for your deck to maintain it sound, safe, and beautiful.
Wash the deck in the spring.
Mold and mildew, which can lead to rot, are invited to grow on an unwashed deck. How to wash your deck is as follows:
1. Use a putty knife to remove debris from the spaces between deck boards. Pay close attention to the points where the deck boards encircle the joists, the decking’s supporting structures.
Try inserting the handle of your putty knife into a section of 114-inch PVC pipe for a temporary extension that will spare your knees. Some putty knives fit perfectly. Or you might purchase a pole-style groove and crevice cleaner.
2. Guard all bushes and landscaping. Wet them, then wrap them in plastic wrap.
3. Scrub the deck entirely.
4. Select the proper cleanser.
Wood deck: Follow the instructions on the deck cleaner you use. Some call for wetting the decking first. Others don’t.
Use a cleaner made especially for composite material on composite decks. Use a commercial degreaser and detergents to combat grease and oil stains.
Vinyl (cellular PVC) deck: To get rid of dirt, mildew, and mould, all you need is warm water and a light soap.
5. Scrub the deck. Pick a gloomy day so the cleaner won’t evaporate in the sun and the decking is cool.
Apply the cleaner with a stiff-bristled brush broom, a garden sprayer, or a paint roller for wood decks. Keep it from pooling. After cleaning the deck, do not allow it to dry. then allow it to soak as directed by the manufacturer (usually about 10 minutes). Rinse well with fresh water.
TIP: To clean wood railings, use the cleanser, scrub, and then rinse while working your way up from the bottom. The cleaning solution is splattered onto dry wood as you work your way down, where it can double-bleach the surface and leave stains that won’t wash off when the lower region is washed. Working from the bottom up will result in you sprinkling cleaner onto a wet surface where it is diluted, leaving no stains.
Clean the composite deck with a gentle brush. Use of a pressure washer will void any guarantee and irreversibly harm the decking. Use a deck brightener that contains oxalic acid to remove rust and leaf stains.
Vinyl deck: Use a stiff broom to scrub in a circular manner, then thoroughly rinse.
6. Allow deck to dry. Two days should pass before sealing.
Tips for maintaining a wood deck:
Look carefully around your deck and its supports to check for any splinters, protruding nails, or wood rot as the first step in wood deck maintenance. In order to ensure a flat surface, now is a good time to sand your deck and hammer any protruding nails back down. To protect the safety of your deck, you might need to replace boards or even supports if you discover signs of wood rot.
Clean the deck with a basic deck cleanser after sweeping away any dirt that has accumulated during the cooler months. Typically, a decent, stiff-bristled brush made specifically for cleaning deck surfaces would work wonders. Make sure to utilise the low pressure setting on a power washer. People frequently make the error of utilising an excessively high pressure setting when pressure washing a deck, which results in gouges appearing on the deck’s surface.
Apply a light or clear-finish stain to your deck. The stain should be resistant to water or waterproof and provide sun protection. The longer your deck is exposed to the sun, the sooner some portions of the deck will start to fade, even if staining your deck will restore it to the colour it originally had or the one of your choosing. Your deck will look nicer for longer if you get an excellent UV and fade-resistant stain.
Consider how your deck will change after receiving a coat of sealant.
When it comes to preventing water from seeping through the boards, sealing your deck is crucial. This can stop a wide range of problems, including wood decay and mould. To guarantee the best level of protection, spread the sealant evenly across the deck surface using a brush or rolling machine. To prevent overspray onto surfaces other than wood, avoid spraying your sealant. While it’s unlikely that you need to stain your deck annually, you should refinish it at least every three years, if not sooner.