Maintenance Steps To Take
As a matter of maintenance, in order to extend the life of a wooden deck (or furnishings) the first step is to clear the surface of all furniture (BBQ, plants, storage chests…)
- Sweep the surface removing all leaves and debris to help prevent mold and mildew, algae or fungus from forming.
- Wash it with mild soap and water. If washing does not remove the dirt or if there are signs of existing mold it is recommended that it be pressure washed. A pressure washing will ensure that even the smallest of particles will be removed. It can also create some damage if the setting is too high so using a professional is advised.
- Inspect the whole of the deck from slats to handrails to railings and posts noting any rotting pieces and any loose rails or warping. If it seems that re-hammering the nails or tightening screws causes the nails or screws to sink into soft wood or splits the wood then the piece should be replaced. Calling a contractor for the work will safeguard the health of the deck, and those who use it, as a contractor will replace any rotted pieces.
- Once any needed repairs have been carried out, sand the surface very lightly to make sure that any graying or discolored spots are addressed. By sanding the surfaces it allows for the even penetration of the sealant. Sanding also loosens any extra debris and dirt.
- Vacuuming with a powerful shop vac is the final step before actually sealing the wood.
- Seal the deck with a water repellent (check with the contractor or local hardware store for the right type for the wood finish of the deck). It should be applied on a clean, dry surface with a large brush or similarly with a pressure hose (for the flat parts only). Sealing is the single most important step to help ensure there is limited water infiltration during the freeze and thaw that winter brings.
- Many people choose to cover their deck – it can be a bit risky to do so though because if the sealing of the covering allows for any water infiltration or condensation then the wood is exposed to sealed water sitting for very a long period.
The lifespan of a wooden deck or patio and wood furnishings can and will be extended with proper care and maintenance. As always, DYI’s are great otherwise, a contractor is the right solution to make sure the job is done safely and correctly.