Wood decks will get dingy over time, and if not properly maintained, the color is going to fade, resulting in a finish that doesn’t look great. The simple solution is to learn how to maintain a deck, in order to ensure it not only looks great as the years pass, but also to ensure your money doesn’t go down the drain, because you will constantly have to be replacing wood planks and boards.
With the right tools, and supplies, not only is it simple to maintain your wood deck, but to keep it looking the same as it did the day you had it installed, with the right maintenance services over the years.
First and foremost, you want to fix any of the visible damage to the deck. If you notice certain planks of wood are rotted, or if they do not have the same brilliance as others, you might want to replace them. If you notice nicks on the wood, discoloration, or loose screws or nails, you want to replace these as well. Making all the necessary repairs to your deck, is not only going to restore the life of the deck, it is also going to make it look better. And, with the best quality wood in place, the deck is going to last for many years to come, even if you live in a harsh weather region. You should also sweep debris, leaves, and sand off any areas of discoloration or damage to the wood, which is minimal. Before you can restore it, you have to get the deck looking new, and get it to the best possible condition possible.
Clean the deck
Deck cleaners will work wonders for deck maintenance. There are dozens of products out there, for different kinds of wood, different colors of wood, and different finishes. So, prior to select the deck cleaner, make sure you know what it is for, how to use it, the concentration, and other information, so as to avoid potentially causing damage to the wood deck. Using a spray hose, a roller, or broom to move the cleaner over the deck, are the easiest ways to clean the deck, and will take less time to clean it as well. On problem areas, allow the cleaner to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a broom or other abrasive surface to help get the tough dirt, and other stains off the deck.
Once cleaned, you want to check if the deck has to be sealed. You can do a visual check by throwing water on the deck; if it sticks to the wood, it is time to seal it, if you notice the water comes up off the deck, a sealer does not have to be used right away. You have some freedom here, and can choose the sealer that you want, in order to give your deck the right color finish. When choosing the stain, make sure it is both water repellent and prevents mildew; it is also a good idea to choose a stain that does not fade over time. Now you can apply the stain; do so in an even layer. It is best to use a paintbrush or roller, so you can work on small sections at a time. If the deck requires two coats, allow the first one to completely dry out before applying the second. You should also apply the sealant to the railings, and all other wood areas around the deck, in order to give it an even finish, and in order to restore the overall appearance of the deck and outdoor areas.
Once it is sealed, you are going to want to clean the deck regularly. You can use the same deck cleaner that was used prior to sealing it, in order to help maintain the appearance of the deck. You should clean the deck every two weeks or so in order to ensure the best finishes, and to avoid dirt accumulation. Also, by taking the time to clean the deck every few weeks, it is going to limit the amount of times you are going to have to seal, or perform repairs. And, if repair work does have to be done, it is generally going to be minimal work, since you are working on the deck so often.
In order to ensure proper maintenance, you have to repeat these steps frequently. A sealer is going to last anywhere from three to six months at a time, so you should also be sealing the deck between four two to four times a year, to ensure it looks good, and to ensure damage does not ensue. If you live in regions where sunlight is prevalent, it is important to seal the deck s often as possible, to help preserve the color, and to help avoid the fading.
In addition to learning how to maintain a deck, you also have to have the right equipment in place to do the job. You should use a broom to sweep dirt and debris, and a paint roller is great for sealing the deck and applying paint coats. Depending on the damage, and whether you have to replace any boards, a pry bar is a great tool to have on hand, to help remove stuck on boards, or those that have really settled in to the ground, and are harder to remove.
Cleaning the deck is a big part of the maintenance work. And, sealing it as often as directed, is in your best interest to keeping the deck looking new, and lasting for several years to come. It does take work, and you will have to do it often, but these simple steps will preserve the deck, no matter where you live And, over the years, it is far cheaper to maintain the deck, as opposed to having to replace the entire deck every so often, simply because you were too lazy to do the maintenance work to the deck.