5 Tips to Help Keep Your Wooden Deck Looking Like New
A wood deck is going to take a lot of punishment over the course of its lifetime. That’s why building a deck means you are taking on a whole lot of responsibility. The type of abuse that decks can withstand comes in the form of harsh sunlight, wind, snow, rain, and sleet. All of these impacts bring high levels of moisture and that spells bad news for your wooden deck.
But you can fight back, take the necessary steps to help keep your wood deck looking new and it doesn’t even matter what type of species of wood you installed. Your deck building service probably suggested that you put in a wood deck that comes with protective safeguards that are designed to make your deck resistant to all the types of wear and tear it will face over a long period of time.
They likely told you that you would have to maintain the wood with regularity so as to keep it looking its best and remain resilient in the face of harsh elements. What they may not have told you are these five tips to help you win the fight against Mother Nature. That’s what we are about to cover right now:
1. Clear Away All the Debris
Wood decks can sustain all types of impacts such as branches, twigs, sticks, leaves and the like. Depending on what part of the country you reside in, the air may be heavier with contaminants like smog, grime, and airborne dust and pollen.
All of these things can and will collect on the surface of the deck and it’s up to you to clear it all away every so often. Allowing them to sit there won’t just make wood look old and dull, but the deck could become damaged as more items pile up. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix – grab a leaf blower and clear away your deck of all the loose surface items. Just blow them away.
2. Cleaning Your Deck
Now that you’ve eliminated all of the surface debris you need to get to the nitty-gritty of all that grime and gunk that’s built up over the years. You’re going to need a deck cleaner that is strong enough to take on all of the potential dangers that could be waiting to make your wood look old and worn out.
For starters, find a cleaner with sodium percarbonate in it, this is the stuff that can take out any mildew and oxidation that is threatening to rob your wood of its natural luster. Scrub well and rinse repeatedly with clean cool water. Once you’ve allowed it to dry completely, seal the wood to keep it well protected for another year or two.
3. Inspect to Rot
This is a step that may not be required for all deck owners. It all depends on the type of wood you’ve chosen to build your deck. If you have purchased pressure-treated wood, then you shouldn’t be finding any evidence or rot or termites. Your deck should be well protected already.
It’s those of you who decided to put in natural wood, your decks could be at risk for rot. This risk is increased for those homes that are located in regions of the country that see higher than normal rates of moisture in the air, whether it’s increased precipitation or humidity.
If this sounds like you, then you’re going to want to carefully examine every board closely. Take care to check those hard to see places and in between the boards, areas where moisture can collect and do the most damage.
4. Don’t Ignore Those Repairs
If you find something that needs to be fixed, the longer you let it remain in that state, the worse the condition becomes, making it harder and pricier to fix. When you find something wrong with your deck, whether it’s rot or you come across some rusted screws or nuts, these things will only continue to degrade and make your deck look awful.
Some damage is more pressing than others, for instance, if you find any loose boards in your deck, then you are posing a serious health hazard to anyone who spends time out there. This is why routine inspections of your deck are so critical, it’s not just an aesthetic concern, it’s a safety issue.
5. Eliminate Stains
There all kinds of things that can stain your wood deck. Sometimes it’s due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it may be algae or mold, but there’s one thing that can take care of all these issues. Bleach will revitalize your wood, but you need to do some research into whether your wood needs a non-chlorinated bleach versus the alternative. If you use the wrong type, you could irreparably harm the surface of the deck.