How to Maintain Your Deck

Whether it’s a small extension of your home, or more like a sprawling oasis, a deck is a wonderful addition to any home. And yet, to enjoy time spent outdoors to the fullest, your deck requires routine maintenance to preserve both its appearance and structural integrity.

For best results, simply follow these Do’s and Don’ts and you’ll be sure to reap the rewards:

DO thoroughly clean your deck once a year. When outdoor temperatures reach 60-70 degrees and there is no rain in the forecast, use a roller or sprayer to apply a deck cleaning solution. While power washers are a great way to wash of the gunk, they can also gouge the wood. Instead, use a garden hose on a hard-stream setting. 

DO sand your deck before applying a sealant. When your deck is completely dry – which can take up to 48 hours – lightly sand the surface using a pole sander with 80-grit sandpaper. Then apply sealant to prevent warping and cracking. If you want a longer lasting seal, use a clear sealant.

DO inspect and clean your deck throughout the year. Regularly sweep puddles, leaves, branches, and debris off your deck to prevent scratches, mold and mildew growth, and water damage. Periodically, inspect the wood for cracks and soft spots, plus loose planks, railings, and nails.

DON’T use chlorine bleach on your deck.  Yes, chlorine bleach is one heck of a cleaner, but it can damage the wood and strip it of its natural sheen. Even oxygen bleach, which is a safer alternative, is still not recommended for certain wood species. Look for and use only a wood-approved deck cleaner.

DON’T ignore pressure-treated wood. While it might resist insect infestation and rot, pressure-treated wood does not resist sun and water damage. Clean and seal a deck made with pressure treated planks just as you would those made from natural wood, but choose pressure-treated-specific products for the task.

DON’T use area rugs made from natural fibers. An outdoor area rug is a great way to protect your deck from scrapes and scratches while adding a little style, but natural fibers absorb moisture and promote mold and mildew. Opt for rugs made from recycled plastics instead.

Another way to enhance your outdoor lounging or entertaining experience is to replace your charcoal or propane grill with one that runs on your home’s natural gas supply. All it takes is the installation of an outdoor gas connection, and all you need for that is Plumbtastic. We’re licensed plumbers and gas fitters, your dual assurance of high quality work performed to the highest standards of personal safety. Contact us today for more information or an on-site estimate.

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