Maintaining a Deck
For homeowners, maintenance isn’t just a chore, it’s a way of life – a way to ensure you enjoy your home and family. Whether it’s as simple and quick as changing a lightbulb or more spread out over time, like maintaining your patio deck - as the entryway into your home, it’s the spot for joyful reunions and long hours spent with family and friends – and deserves your effort. The question is then, what do you need to do to maintain your deck for those years of enjoyment?
At Allweather Wood, for more than 30 years, our team has installed decks and fences in Edmonton. Allweather Wood provides a wide selection of the best decking materials and railings including cedar, treated lumber, vinyl, or composite decking suitable for a relaxing living space outdoors. Here are a few suggestions we’ve pulled together to help answer your maintenance concerns.
As a high-traffic area, there’s the constant wear and tear, and exposure to the sun and rain. Keeping your deck looking new season after season has two benefits, first is its look, and second is its structure.
The first thing you should do each spring is schedule a yearly deck inspection and be sure to keep an eye out for loose boards, protruding nails, loose screws, split boards, cracks, rotting wood, mildew growth or any other areas that might need repair. Check for structural changes too - inspect every joint, frame, and beam supporting the deck, the ledger (the part of the framing that attaches the deck to your home), and that its metal capping is free from rust and deterioration.
Next is a good cleaning, and ensuring you are using the right cleanser. For a:
- Wood deck - use a standard deck cleaner and follow its directions.
- Composite deck - use a cleaner specifically formulated for composite material. Attack grease and oil stains with a commercial degreaser and detergents.
- Vinyl (cellular PVC) deck - use warm water and a mild soap to remove mold, mildew, and dirt.
Consider using a pressure washer to remove any dirt and debris from the wood, particularly if you plan on staining or sealing it. However, keep the pressure wand moving, follow the grain and go with the boards, so as not to damage or gouge the wood. If any bare wood is exposed due to wear, you’ll need to recoat. Stain and seal your deck with a product that has UV protection, repels water, and has a mildew inhibitor.
Landscaping should be at least 12 inches away from your deck to prevent rot and moss growth. Trim nearby bushes and plants as required and sweep away any debris that’s accumulated on a weekly basis, including leaves and pine needles. Keeping your deck clean will also help - clean up any barbecue grease spills immediately. You should also rearrange or reorganize your deck furniture regularly - this will prevent the wood from discolouring in particular areas.
At season’s end, remove any furniture, planters, or barbecues from your deck and put them into storage. Check between deck boards for any fallen leaves, which can reduce water drainage, and remove them. Remove heavy snow build-up over winter and avoid chemicals and salt to remove ice, they may damage the deck’s surface or reduce the effectiveness of seals.
Our best advice is to make deck maintenance part of your weekly cleaning and landscaping routine, and remember, call Allweather Wood at 780-451-6775 or toll free at 1-800-668-5796 today for the building materials and hardware supplies you’ll need to finish your project properly.