The deck serves as a witness for all of your family’s outdoor agendas. Step out by the deck to enjoy the serenity of a view, a sunset, or the sea. Make memories on it. Whether its family functions, grandkids enjoying in the sun or just to keep its beauty to justify your property’s appraisal, here are all the things you should know while maintaining a deck.
Understanding what constitutes it
As you may know, there are different kinds of deck material. There is:
- Composite decking
- Vinyl decking
- Tropical hardwoods
- Natural wood (e.g. cedar, redwood)
- Pressure-treated lumber
- Aluminium decking
Know whatever material constitutes your decking, even if it’s a common one or the easiest to take care, it all requires proper maintenance. Typically, most decks are composite, or pressure-treated lumber.
Tasks to be done
- SPRING CLEANING OR YEARLY CLEAN-UP
Like any part of the house, an annual keep-up for the deck is helping it to stay looking best. For wooden ones, exfoliate every year to allow protective sealers to do its job of penetrating the wood deeper. A climate temperature between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit would be best. Brush off mould and mildew by scrubbing the deck with your preferred cleaning formula or spray on your deck to rinse off the dirt. Be reminded though not to use pressurized washer because it might gouge or splinter the wood if it’s too strong. Composite decking requires special cleaners. A good deck cleaner will help get rid of the dirt and mildew that is deep down in the wood Use regular detergent to get rid of oil or a de-greaser for grease. Decking with vinyl is the easiest since you can clean it up with water and mild soap.
- DECK PREPPING
It is essential to prepare your deck if you want to have it sealed or stained, or if you want to redecorate its outlook. So, begin so by sweeping off leaves, dust, and trash then get rid of all the stuck debris in between crevices. Make sure there’s no more dust build-up before you put the furniture atop the deck or before you decide on putting a plant somewhere its very edges. Take this time to double-check loose nails and screw then have them replaced.
- SAND AND SEAL
When planning to have your wood decking resealed, sand you deck a couple of days ahead, or approximately, 48 hours after getting it washed and then dried. Remove any fuzzy areas hindering it from being smooth, usually due to a pressure washer. Use the ideal sandpaper with 80-grits and a pole then apply your sealant afterwards which, is the right choice for preventing cracking or warping. Protect yourself by wearing the right PPE plus don’t forget to cover your plants.
- CLEANING THE DECK
Even if an annual cleaning was ideal, it is still highly recommended to have a cleaning routine given the fact that exposure to the elements of time happened. Water, while it sustains life, could be a culprit in shortening your deck’s life because if it pools to the crevices after a storm, the damage is hard to prevent. So, keep it dry, clear of leaves and debris, and lessen your annual workload by maintaining it. Using decking oil will help maintain and enhance the natural colour of the deck
- STEERING CLEAR FROM
Chlorine bleach – Preserve your wood’s natural colour by steering clear off chlorine bleach. As its chemical composition is considered harmful in general, protect yourself once again, including your plants and pet. While an oxygen bleach can be a good alternative, it’s not ideal for redwood.
Paint – Using this as a sealant is not a good idea. You may consider it for aesthetic purposes, but you can only say this right after once it gets done. But in the long run, it ends up looking old and distressed. And when it’s time to reseal your deck, you would need to remove the old paint for a better outcome. A synthetic sealant may be used instead of or a semi-transparent finish.
- KNOWING FINISH OPTIONS
Local home improvement centres usually have options that include:
- Toners – They add a little colour, yet they reveal the grain 100%. Also, they provide some ultraviolet (UV) light protection against the sun.
- Clear sealer – allows wood’s natural colour and grain show through
- Semi-transparent stain – tints the wood and shows some grain.
- Solid stain including opaque hue – seal damage from the weather and covers the grain entirely.
Maintaining your deck saves a lot of money and time. While it may be demanding as to how to keep it cleaned up, it’s all worth it in the end. As it gives you the chance to enjoy it for the long haul, it raises your home’s value too.