3 Tips for Deck Maintenance

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With spring among us and summer just around the corner, keeping your deck clean and polished is essential. Whether it’s a place to host cookouts or simply somewhere to relax after a long day, make the most out of your outdoor space.

Over time, your deck may start to appear more worn out than it used to. Decks are prone to weathering, discoloration, and splinters. Here are a few tips to get your deck looking good as new.

Clean your deck.

Throughout winter, your deck probably accumulated dirt, moldy leaves, and other unwanted debris. At the start of each new season, be sure to clean your deck.

To start, use your hose to get rid of all leaves stuck in between deck boards. For cleaning the remaining areas, you have two options: soak it with warm water and a chlorine-free bleach mixture—chlorine will strip the wood of its natural color and damage its cellular structure— and then rinse, or power wash it. If you go the pressure washing route, be aware that too much pressure can harm the wood. Avoid this by sweeping the nozzle along the wood grain at a slight angle about 8 inches from the deck surface.

Restore woods color.

As natural wood ages, the color can start to turn grey and the wood will begin to feel rough. Unleash the wood’s natural color by sanding your deck and removing the worn layer.

Additionally, after power washing your deck, the wood fibers will raise up and often will remain raised when the wood dries. Sanding your deck after power washing will not only renew your woods color, but protect from splinters.

Start by determining which power sander you will use. Your standard orbital sander will work just fine, or you can rent an upright sander from any home improvement store. Remember to use sandpaper with a grit no rougher than 80. Using too rough of a grit can gouge your wood.

Also—don’t forget to protect yourself! Wear a particle mask and safety glasses to keep dust out of your system.

Seal your deck.

Our last recommendation is to seal your deck. After all, you want all your hard work to pay off, don’t you? Once a year, apply a sealer to protect your deck from water damage, mildew and UV damage. You can purchase a sealer from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Pay close attention to the type of sealer you purchase. Remember, natural woods need certain sealers. Sealer and stain combinations are also available if you are looking to renew your woods color.

Not sure you can handle this project on your own? We’d love to help! Call us today for a quote or fill out the form below to request a service online.

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