How to Properly Care for Your Deck
Your natural wood decks could lose their charm and beauty if they’re not properly cared for. Wooden decks are exposed to far more extreme conditions than anything you have inside your home. There’s constant foot traffic, and the horizontal surface plane constantly exposes your decks to the sun and rain. Improper care could lead to water pooling and damaging the structural integrity of the wood. Pooled moisture attracts pollen and eventually fungal spores which can discolor the wood or worse, damage it from the inside out. This is just one of many scenarios that may put your deck at risk.
Wooden decks are the most vulnerable to weather than any other type of wooden structure. Prevent any future damage by following these easy tips and rules to deck care:
Get rid of Excess Dirt
If you’re a gardener and have flower planters or garden boxes on your deck, place them on top of cement blocks. This will prevent the planters from trapping dirt or moisture on the deck’s surface. Don’t have access to cement blocks? You can routinely rotate your planters to prevent any excess dirt or moisture from staining or damaging your deck.
Ensure yourself with a grease catcher
Grease stains are some of the most difficult stains to remove regardless of which surface they happen on. Give yourself some peace of mind by investing in a grease catcher if you plan on cooking or having a grill out on your deck.
Don’t Fear the Broom
Simply sweeping your deck on a daily or weekly basis can aid in preventing mass pilings of dirt or leaves that can eventually stain your deck. This is especially true after some rainfall. Leaf and dirt piles grow denser, and that extra weight provided by the moisture will only cause them to stain the deck quicker.
Seal & Clean Regularly
Allotting time in your schedule and money in your pocketbook, plan to have your deck professionally cleaned and sealed every 2 to 3 years. This will help protect the wood from the rain and sun. If you’re planning on cleaning and sealing yourself, you’ll probably need to do so at least once a year. Because of equipment and labor limitations, doing this project yourself does not ensure the highest level of protection. Consulting a specialist will be a more cost-effective strategy in protecting your deck in the long-run.
Protect Your New Deck
Recently had a new deck installed? Spare nothing when it comes to proper protection and care. First, have it professionally cleaned to kill any mildew spores that may have taken home in the wood. Second, this professional cleaning will also remove any surface imperfections that may prevent any sealants from penetrating the wood. After the cleaning, have your wooden deck sealed with a waterproof sealant. Wait at least 60 days after a deck is built to have it cleaned and stained. Wood must be allowed time to “age”. This is when the wood adjusts to the new structure, temperature and surrounding elements.