Wood Deck Maintenance throughout the year

posted in: Deck Restoration | 0
Annual deck maintenance will forestall repairs, protect your investment, and boost your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Mid-Spring & Mid-Fall:  Wash the Deck

An unwashed deck is an invitation to mold and mildew, which can cause rot.  Also could make the existing stain/seal to not last as expected.  Here’s how to wash your deck:

  1. Remove debris from between deck boards and all wood cut ends using a plastic putty knife. Pay special attention to the areas where deck boards cross the joists (structural members underneath the decking)
  2. Thoroughly sweep the deck with an average soft bristle broom
  3. Choose an appropriate cleanser. A mild detergent or deck cleaner works great.  Apply the cleaner with a garden sprayer evenly (not too much to take off the stain/sealer).  Then use a soft bristle and garden hose to clean off the dirty areas.  (BE CAREFUL NOT TO SCRUB TO HARD THAT YOU REMOVE THE STAIN/SELAER)

Mid-Summer:  Inspect and Repair your deck

When the weather is warm and dry, it’s a good time to give your deck’s structure a close inspection. Pay particular attention to any areas within 6 inches of the ground or close to sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.

  1. Look for signs of rot. “Nicely” Probe around the cut ends of the decking, railing, and railing posts.  You can use a screw driver and if it goes into the wood more than a ¼” or more, you probably have rot.  (DON’T PROBE INTO THE FINISHED AREAS OF THE BOARD OR YOU COULD SCRATCH OR DAMAGE THE SURFACE – JUST THE CUT ENDS)
  2. Inspect the ledger. Using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay special attention to the ledger board – that all-important piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house.  A damaged ledger is the cause of 90% of all deck collapses.
    1. Tip: The ledger should be attached with lag screws or ledge lockers, not just nails.
  3. Check remaining joists, posts, and beams. Check all hardware underneath and replace any that are seriously rusted.
  4. Check for cracks or rotten decking boards. Not all cracks are a structural threat.  Cracks in 4×4 or 6×6 structural posts naturally happen and is not a structural threat.  Also sometime in Joists.  When the treated materials dry, they will naturally crack.

Early Fall:  Preventive Measures

Preventive measures have many benefits in the condition and longevity of your deck

  1. Trim nearby Bushes and Trees. They need to be at least 12 inches from the deck to slow mold, moss, and rot
  2. Don’t let Leave and other debris pile up
  3. Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloring the decking. Keep nearby gutters and downspouts in good repair.
Comments are closed.