According to the NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction in 2017, 23.8% of single-family homes in the US have decks. This figure has increased over the years. Decks play an important role in adding more functionality to the home. It extended the living space of the house, providing more area for the family to entertain their guests or just for themselves. To be able to enjoy the benefits that your deck has to offer, it is also important to establish routine maintenance to keep it in top condition.
If you are looking for easy and effective deck maintenance tips, then you have come to the right page. Check out the 5 basics of deck maintenance that every homeowner should learn.
The first thing that you need to do when doing deck maintenance is to inspect your deck thoroughly at least once a year. It is the rule of thumb. Pay attention to the wood itself. Give the railing a good shake and see if it isn’t loose. Look for signs of rotting, cracks, and splits. Poke the post or any areas that are mostly exposed to water and ground with a screwdriver. If it makes a depression or if the woods feel soft, then it could be a sign of rot and needs to be addressed right away. Check the ledge too, make sure that it is still strong, no holes or rust, and is attached tightly to the deck with lag screws.
Anything that you notice that is loose, rotten, or damaged during your inspection, deal with it right away. It will not just prevent the damage from getting worse, but it will also save you from a costly repair. Reattach loose boards, replace rusty nails and rotten boards, repair splits and cracked wood, and tighten any loose screws. Nail pop is also a common scenario in older decks. Make sure they are re-attached tightly to avoid accidents.
Once all the necessary repairs are done, make sure to clean your deck with everything that is unnecessary. Trim the nearby trees to avoid leaves and broken branches from piling up in your deck. This can make your deck more vulnerable to mold growth and rotting. Remove any dirt. You can choose to power wash your deck or just use your garden hose with a powerful nozzle to remove even the stubborn dirt. There are also cleaners intended for decks. When applying the cleaner, start from the bottom up to make sure that it won’t leave marks when the solution splatters on dry parts of the deck. Let it dry and wait for two days before you seal your deck.
- Stain and Seal
Some homeowners would love to see their deck in vibrant color while others also prefer to see the natural beauty of their deck. It’s up to you; you can either paint or stain your deck. Once your deck is completely dry, you can then start sealing it. Choose the type of sealer that will benefit your deck according to your location. If you are located in an area that receives so much sunlight, then you might like to consider stains with darker pigments. Talk to a professional decker to find out the type of stains that will suit your deck best.