You’ve likely made many memories on your wooden deck. This area is a place for gathering, eating, and celebrating in the great outdoors. However, a wooden deck that’s regularly exposed to the elements can show its age over time. That being said, how do you keep it looking beautiful over the years? Whether it’s still new or has a history, here are five tips you can use to maintain your wooden deck over time.
1. Wash it
As soon as spring rolls around, it’s time for you to give your deck a good wash. Failing to do so can allow mold and mildew to grow between the boards, which will eventually turn into rot. To begin, sweep all of the debris off the surface of the deck. Then, use a cleaner specifically designed for wooden decks to wash it down efficiently.
2. Seal and stain it
Sealers and stains can help maintain the look of your deck over time. With a sealant, you can protect the wood from the elements during all four seasons. By staining it, you’ll help the wood maintain its natural color.
First, you want to sand down the deck to get a smooth surface. Then, you’ll need to replace any missing nails or screws from the boards themselves. Finally, apply the sealer and stain when you know you’ll have clear, dry weather for it to dry – two to three days is best.
3. Keep an eye on your ledger
Your ledger is the piece of framing that keeps your deck attached to your home. It is under the deck itself, meaning it can be tricky to see, but it’s important to keep an eye on it over time. A damaged ledger can lead to the entire deck collapsing without any warning. Signs of damage may include rusted screws or nails.
4. Inspect beams, posts, and railings
Your beams, posts, and railings should never be loose on your deck – everything should be firmly secure. Addressing a loose post or rail sooner rather than later can prevent expensive deck repair costs in the future.
5. Keep it clean
If your deck happens to be located near shrubs or under trees, then you’re likely going to find foliage on its surface at some point. It’s critical to remove leaves and other debris from your deck as soon as possible. Leaves, for instance, can trap moisture and allow it to seep into the wood. In turn, you’ll increase the potential for mold, mildew, and rot.
If you are unsure of the stability of your wooden deck, call in a professional contractor. He or she can let you know if you need to make any repairs to extend the life of the deck. Additionally, a professional can give you advice on finding the right sealant and stain for your deck.