Your wooden deck needs upkeep and care, so before you believe that the maintenance on your decking can wait, you should know that it can’t!
You invested tens of thousands of your own hard-earned cash into the construction of the ideal deck for entertaining, and now you must devote both time and money to ensuring that it remains in pristine shape. You should consider your deck an investment and treat it as such at all times. In the long term, following these suggestions can help you save both time and money!
Decking maintenance – is it really important?
Deck maintenance is not only important, but it is also the most important thing you can do to make sure your wooden deck looks its best. Keeping your outdoor space in good shape doesn’t have to be hard or take up all of your free time for weeks. If you agree to do general maintenance when it’s needed, the job will be easier to handle. Here are five things you can do to keep your deck in good shape.
1. General Upkeep and Checks
Many renters and owners forget to do general maintenance and checks. This is a shame, because small problems can grow into big ones if they aren’t fixed. When you check your wooden deck, you should look for the following:
- Wooden boards that are loose and broken. As the weather changes and the wood is exposed to it, the boards can come loose over time. If you find any bad boards, you’ll have to fix them or get rid of them. Leaving the boards loose will cause more trouble.
- Planks with cracks. This happens when the wood is old or when it has been hit. Even though not all cracks weaken the structure, they will only get worse over time, so you should fix them as soon as you find them.
- Screws and nails. Weathering and loose floor boards can both cause nails and screws to stick out. Hammer the nails back in and tighten the screws so they don’t hurt people’s feet, especially if you have kids or pets.
2. Day to Day Cleaning
It’s normal for dirt, leaves, and other things to get stuck between the wood boards, but you should never leave them there. You should quickly clean your deck once a week by removing any trash, sweeping it, and spraying it down with water. Leaving garden waste, trash, and dirt to pile up can cause big problems, like the wood rotting.
If you don’t do the work of getting rid of this green waste, water won’t run off. This will cause water to gather on the boards, which could cause them to twist and bend. Still water is a breeding ground for bugs and will eventually cause your wood boards to rot.
In addition to sweeping away dirt and debris, you should also hose down the wooden deck boards with a mild detergent every so often to get rid of any extra dirt that could damage the wood.
3. Annual Cleaning
You should give your deck a lot of care about once or twice a year. To clean your deck, you need to sweep away all the extra dirt, just like you do when you clean your house once a week, and then wash it with a non-alkaline cleaner. Do not use an acid wash on your deck that has oxalic acid in it because this will damage the coatings. Follow the directions on the bottle of your preferred cleaner to make sure you are using the right amount of water.
From there, you pour it on your wooden deck and use a “wet mop” to cover all of your wood boards. After the recommended amount of time, usually 15 to 20 minutes, pour more cleaner on the wood and start scrubbing with a hard-bristled broom or decking brush. Scrub with the grain in smooth motions to remove dirt and oils, and then give your deck a thorough spraying with a hose.
If you don’t take the time to keep your deck clean, it won’t last long. By giving your wooden outdoor living space a thorough cleaning once a year, you can be sure that it will last as long as possible.
4. Coating your Deck
If you want your deck to look clean, new, and well taken care of, you should recoat it at least twice a year in direct sunlight. Decks that aren’t taken care of well look old, dirty, and rough. If you don’t want these things to happen to your deck, you need to put on two coats of superior deck coating.
Splashing water on the boards is an easy way to see if your deck needs to be refinished. If the water beads up, your coating is still doing its job. If the water soaks into the wood, you need to recoat your wooden deck right away. Just make sure that the weather is good and that it won’t rain.
5. Seal your Wooden Deck
Sealing your deck is a great way to make sure that the sun doesn’t damage it too much. Sealing your deck is like putting on sunscreen and making it waterproof at the same time. Water will bead off, and the wood won’t stay wet for long periods of time. Decks that don’t have a seal or tint usually need to be replaced sooner because the wood is exposed to the weather. This will cause the wood to split, crack, and maybe even rot.
Follow the steps on the seal tin every year to keep your deck in great shape.
Inspect you Decking Regularly
Keeping an eye on your decking is one of the best ways to protect it. As you go about your daily life, keep an eye out for rot, small spots of deterioration, or cracks. If you don’t take care of a small problem right away, it can grow into a big one.
Check the floorboards, railings, and supports, too. One way to do this is to use a flat-head screwdriver to probe the wood and look for “soft spots.” If your screwdriver can go in more than 5mm, there may be rot in the area you are looking at. You should call a pro as soon as possible to fix this.
Before you have your deck built, you should do some research on deck maintenance so you know exactly what needs to be done to keep your outdoor space from falling apart too soon. Taking care of your wooden deck is a lot easier than rebuilding it from scratch.