Regular maintenance is the key to a great looking and long-lasting deck. That said, different deck materials require different kinds of care. Whether you’re researching your options before building a deck, or wondering how to best care for your current structure, here’s how to best maintain popular deck materials.
Pressure Treated Lumber, or PTL, is one of the most popular deck materials available. PTL has been specially treated to maximize its durability. The pressure treatment prevents moisture and U.V. damage, protects the wood from insects and reduces the likelihood of fungal decay.
Despite the treatment, these decks still need regular maintenance and are susceptible to water damage. In addition to applying a water repellant annually, you should resand, restain and reseal your deck every 2 to 5 years. With this regular maintenance schedule, your deck will last up to 20 years.
Redwood and Cedar
Unlike pressure-treated lumber, redwood and cedar naturally contain oils that will protect your deck from moisture damage and insects. While your deck may not need to be chemically protected, it will still need some light maintenance. Decks made out of redwood or cedar should be treated with a wood preservative and, if you choose to stain, re-stained annually. You should also lightly pressure wash your deck every year.
Composite decks are made out of a mix of recycled wood and reclaimed low-density plastic. They are not susceptible to heat damage, splintering or insect infestation. As a result, composite decks not only last longer than natural materials but also need a lot less maintenance. For these reasons, many specialists recommend composite decks for Canadian backyards.
That said, cleaning your composite deck once or twice a year can extend its life and keep it looking great. Power washing will remove stains from mold, mildew and weathering. Remember to use a low setting on your power washer as composite is softer than natural wood.
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
Unlike wood or composite decks, PVC decks are completely inorganic, making them virtually maintenance-free. They aren’t susceptible to water or insect damage, they hold their colour, are easy to clean, and difficult to scratch. Simply cleaning your deck with a mild detergent twice a year will keep it looking great.
As you can see, different materials require varying amounts of maintenance. If you still have questions about caring for your deck or would prefer to have a pro take care of your maintenance, use the banner below to get connected with reviewed deck specialists in your area. Whether you choose to DIY or hire a helping hand, your deck will thank you!