Here in the Pacific Northwest, weather can be harsh on our homes and decks. The rain, wind, and snow makes proper cleaning and frequent maintenance crucial for getting the most out of your home.
While many homeowners think decks are self-sustaining, even pressure-treated and composite decks need to be taken care of to maximize their lifecycle and remain safe. And we’re not just talking a quick rinse with a garden hose!
Read on to learn our 5 dos and 5 don’t for cleaning and maintaining your deck.
1. Clean your deck fully once a year
Just because your deck is made from quality materials and has been properly finished or stained, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
Use a power washer or safe deck cleaning solution to clean off your deck. Crucially, you must remove grime and any signs of mold growth. Both of these can degrade the integrity of your deck and shorten its life considerably. Plus, they just look bad!
2. Trim overhanging branches and clean debris from your deck
One of the quickest ways to ruin a deck is for debris to be piled up and left unnoticed for weeks (or months) on end. Further, a fallen branch after a winter storm can cause expensive repairs, or worse, a destroyed deck.
Once you’ve installed your deck, trim any branches that are hanging over the deck. Not only will this provide a safer experience for you and your family and reduce debris pile up, but it will remove the risk of a branch falling and destroying your deck.
3. Replace damaged boards or hardware immediately
When it comes to your home, when something breaks, ignoring it is not a solution. Not only is the issue not going to go away, but generally this will cause even more issues with other parts of your home.
If there’s something wrong with your deck, it must be repaired promptly to keep it safe and in good condition. Be sure to replace any damaged deck boarding, loose nails, or deck attachments.
Learn more about our deck repair services.
4. Stain or waterproof your deck
Whether you’re buying a new deck or you’ve had a deck for years, staining and waterproofing your deck is crucial to keeping it in good shape and maximizing its lifespan. It also keeps away pests and just looks plain amazing!
At All Around Maintenance, we can help you stain your deck to ensure it maintains a high-quality appearance for years. We offer many different stain shades and can work with you to find the perfect one for your home.
Learn more about our deck staining and refinishing services.
5. Move around the layout of your deck
While deck stains and materials are durable, nothing is stronger than the sun. For this reason, your deck will change color over time as UV rays hit your deck and fade your stain.
To prevent uneven discoloration, we recommend switching up your furniture and appliance layout. This will ensure that your deck is dicsolored at a uniform rate and will not look sun stained. This is also a fun opportunity to tinker with your outdoor living space!
1. Use your deck if it is not in good condition
If your deck is not used often, constant maintenance may not be at the top of mind. But if your deck is in poor condition, we strongly urge you to have it inspected by a professional to ensure its safety and see if any repairs are needed.
Decks that are raised multiple stories and in poor shape can lead to serious injury or even worse. We’re happy to come out and perform an inspection to let you know what can be done so you and your family can go back to enjoying your deck!
2. Think that your deck doesn’t need to be maintained
While modern decking materials make maintenance a breeze, it doesn’t mean that your deck doesn’t need to be maintained at all.
Weather can be harsh on decks made from all sorts of materials. This includes pressure treated and composite woods! Whether through our team or by yourself, make sure you are regularly maintaining and cleaning your deck.
3. Use harsh chemicals to clean your deck
While you do need to maintain your deck, make sure you are using appropriate cleaners to do it properly. In fact, pressure washing with no cleaning solutions at all is better than going too far and destroying your deck with a solution that’s too harsh and may destroy your deck’s finish.
While oxygen bleach is a good option (with the exception of redwood decks), chlorine bleach is NEVER a good option for deck cleaning and will destroy your decks color and integrity.
4. Leave a natural material rug or mat on your deck
Have you ever left wet clothes on a hardwood floor? If you have, you will know why this “don’t” is a big one. Mats or rugs made of natural fibers (think wool, cotton, or canvas) on your deck will cause mold growth and for your deck structure to degrade past the point of no return.
Instead, take a look at mats made from recycled plastics that will not cause these issues and are more appropriate for your outdoor deck.
5. Rely on your pressure washer too much
Pressure washers can be a wonderful tool for cleaning your deck, but if not in the hands of a trained professional, they can actually do more harm than good. By pressure washing too close, at the wrong angle, or with too much pressure, wood can be severely damaged.
At All Around Maintenance, we can help you pressure wash our deck to ensure your deck looks great and is left in WAY better condition than when we got there.
Learn more about our deck pressure washing services.
Whatever you do, always work with a deck maintenance contractor who will take proper care of your deck
At All Around Maintenance, we work with homeowners in the Vancouver and Portland area to clean and maintain their decks so they’re always safe and ready for you and your family.