Advice On How To Maintain A New Deck
Once you have a new deck, you and your loved ones can experience the outdoors in plenty. Decks offer you a perfect spot for relaxation, bonding, playing, and entertaining your guests. But like all good things in life, they need to be taken care of. If you don’t maintain your deck you might end up losing your investment to a preventable mishap. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your deck through proper maintenance.
Regularly clean your deck
As with the rest of your living space, you need to ensure that your deck is cleaned on a regular basis. Apart from the aesthetic and health benefits of having a clean deck, regularly cleaning your new deck will ensure that its lifespan is significantly increased. When debris is left to settle on your deck for a long period, it could lead to permanent staining. These are the steps to follow to ensure that your deck is properly cleaned.
- Remove the debris that is stuck between your deck boards with a blunt, narrow, solid object.
- Sweep the deck.
- Find the proper cleanser. Your cleanser will depend on the material that your deck is made of. Most well stocked hardware outlets will have several commercial brands that are suitable for wooden, composite, and PVC decks.
- Use a soft cloth or light brush to clean your deck with the appropriate cleanser and warm water. Avoid using a pressure hose on composite and PVC material.
- Allow your deck to dry
You should deep clean your deck at least once a year. If you regularly use your deck, then you should increase the frequency with which you clean it.
Ensure that your deck is always sealed
Deck sealant protects your deck from the effects of rainfall, UV light, and general dampness. Dampness is particularly harmful to wooden decks as it creates an environment where mold and mildew can grow. Every two years or so, you need to replace your deck sealant. If you are doing it yourself, ensure that you properly sand the deck surface before resealing it. For better results, you should hire your deck builder to professionally seal it for you.
Restore aged wood
As with all natural materials, your wooden deck will be affected by age. One of the signs of aging wood is that it will lose it natural luster and start greying. Luckily, there are numerous wood restoration products that you can use to restore the new deck sheen. A quick trip to the hardware store will present you with a variety of products marketed as “deck brighteners” or “deck restorers”. Consult with a professional deck builder to know which brands work well with the type of wood that you have.
Avoid using natural fiber carpets/rugs on your deck
Carpeting material made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, jute, and bamboo are highly absorbent and retain dampness. If you leave them on your deck, they will retain moisture which will attract mold, mildew, and wood rot. If you must have carpeting on your deck, you should use plastic or PVC carpeting. Not only are synthetic carpets cheaper, they are not absorbent and they usually last longer than their natural counterparts.
Check for wood rot
Even with the best maintenance, your wooden deck will always be susceptible to rot. This is especially true if your property is located in a generally damp area. Always check your deck, especially after a long rainy season, for rot. Play close attention to the supporting posts and the underside of the deck which comes into more contact with moisture. Use a bread knife, or any other blunt item to check for rot. If a breadknife can sink more than half an inch into the wood with minimal pressure, then you might be dealing with the onset of wood rot. Engage the services of a professional deck builder to deal with the problem as soon as you spot it.
Treat your deck with care
Being careful while on your deck will significantly increase its lifespan. Avoid placing sharp objects in contact with your deck. Do not use cleaning agents that will corrode your deck’s building material. If you have movable furniture on your deck, ensure that their ‘legs’ are padded at the bottom so that they don’t scratch your deck. Do not excessively load your deck past the recommended load given to you by your deck builder.
Most importantly, regularly schedule maintenance checks with a professional deck-building professional. They are likely to spot other maintenance issues that may not be easily visible to your unprofessional eye.