How Do I Care For My Deck After It’s Restored?
Creating an annual schedule for maintenance and upkeep of your deck helps prevent expensive repairs and keeps your deck looking great year-round.
A simple deck cleaning and maintenance schedule will help keep your deck free of rot and algae buildup for a longer period of time.
Wash The Deck
To prevent the formation of algae and rot, it’s important to wash the deck. Late spring is optimal for good results since the cool temperatures yield the best conditions.
Begin the process by removing debris between the deck boards. Next, protect any surrounding vegetation by wetting them and covering them with a plastic sheet. Thoroughly remove any lingering debris from the deck with a broom, then choose a cleanser that will not damage your deck.
On a cool day, clean the deck and allow the wood to dry for two days before moving onto the next step of sealing the deck.
Sealing The Deck
Sealing your deck makes it more resistant to moisture and pest infestation. There are a variety of sealers and stains to choose from, all offering different finishing results. Clear sealer highlights the wood’s natural grain while toner adds color and offers protection against sunlight.
Semi-transparent stains tint the wood but still show some grain. Solid stains completely cover the grain while sealing the wood against weather damage.
Sealing is a two-part process and requires clear skies and moderate temperatures for optimal results. Lightly sand the deck and replace any nails or screws that are lose or missing. Next, apply the sealer or stain by using a roller on the decking and a brush on the railings, planters, and benches. Two thin coats work best.
Perform Deck Repairs
This is a job best suited for midsummer when the weather is warm and dry. First, inspect your deck for signs of rot by looking underneath the boards and checking joists, posts, beams, and railings.
Don’t forget to inspect the ledger board. A damaged ledger accounts for at least 90% of all deck failure. Pay close attention to areas within a 6-inch distance from the ground and close to water sources like downspouts. Repairs should be scheduled according to what you find during the inspection.
Perform Preventative Maintenance
Early autumn is a great time to wash and seal your deck, especially if you did not do so in the spring. The mild temperatures at this time make it most appropriate for these preventative measures.
A Few More Tips
In addition to keeping the schedule outlined above, it is a good idea to trim nearby bushes and trees as they promote moss and mold formation on decks, be attentive in preventing leaves and other debris from settling in corners of the deck.