Wooden decks are very popular compared to their synthetic competition. They remain cool even on the hottest of days and are cheaper at cost compared to synthetic materials. Wooden decks have the potential to have a lifespan of over a decade, but require the proper care. With the summer months ahead, ensure that your deck is in tip-top shape by following these simple maintenance routines.
Whether your deck is new, or you’ve had it for a couple of years, it’s important to make sure it’s sealed. This includes decks constructed with pressure-treated wood, as well. Adding a sealant will form a transparent layer that will maintain your deck’s natural finish all while minimizing water infiltration and keeping moisture out.
If you are not sure if your deck is sealed, you can perform this simple water test: pour a few drops of water onto your deck. If the water beads, then the wood is sealed and in good condition, but if the deck board absorbs the water then it is a sign that you need to re-treat it. Be sure to conduct this test on different areas of your deck as they are exposed to different elements and traffic.
If you have a new deck, you should wait up to a year before you seal it. This will allow the newly treated wood to fully finish curing (release moisture and dry out). After that, it is recommended that you seal your deck every 1-3 years depending on the use and weather it is exposed to. Conducting the water test can also give you a good indication if you need to reseal it.
You should give your deck a good, solid clean once a year. This can include power washing or simply hosing off with a garden hose and scrubbing with an appropriate deck cleaning solution. Keep note that if you are power washing, there is a risk of gauging the wood and it will remove any stain or paint and require a new coat.
Over time, mold and bacteria can collect in certain areas and if they are not tended to, they will continue to grow and rot your wood. This can result in repairs needed and also safety hazards. Giving your deck a good wash at the beginning of the spring season will also increase the aesthetics of the space and add more value.
It is important to conduct routine checks of your entire deck space periodically throughout the year. Allowing puddles of water, mounds of snow or piles of leaves to sit on your deck increases moisture and can damage the wood. It is also important to pay attention to any splintered, soft, or rotting wood boards and repair them as soon as you can. Such hazards are a safety risk and can lead to injury.
Decks are meant to be an enjoyable space. Minimize any worry about your deck ageing by following these easy maintenance routines. If you’re unable to perform these tasks yourself, a pro is more than willing to help out! With summer just around the corner, don’t wait to get started!