Basic Deck Maintenance Tips

Monday, February 24, 2020

A deck can be a wonderful finishing touch to your garden, giving you somewhere to relax, entertain and look out over your plants. When you have a deck put in, it’s important to properly maintain it. With proper care, your deck will look good and stay sturdy for many years to come, saving you the cost of repairs or replacement.
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Clean Your Deck Thoroughly Once A Year

An annual clean is a very good habit to get into to keep your deck looking it’s best. Early Spring, just before you want to start using the deck regularly again is a good time to do this. Ideally, wait for weather that is dry and reasonably warm. Give the deck a thorough clean with an appropriate cleaner for the material the desk is made of. This is one of the benefits of the composite decking, as it can be easier to clean and better resistant to problems like mould or mildew.

Don’t Over Do The Power Washer

Pressure or power washers can be very satisfying to use, and it certainly is effective at blasting away any built-up dirt. However, this level of effectiveness can also be bad news for your decking. The high pressure of the water can cause gouges in the wood of the deck, causing more damage than just a regular cleaning. Instead, clean with a scrubbing brush or broom. If you are using a power washer, go slowly, and sweep the nozzle of the washer along the wood grain at a slight angle, about 8 inches from the surface of the deck. When the trigger is engaged, keep the nozzle moving at all times, so you’re not blasting one area for a long time.

Do Cover Your Plants

The cleaning chemicals won’t do your plants much good, especially if you’re blasting them about with a power washer. They can harm or even kill your plants. Cover any nearby plants with a plastic sheet or tarp before you start. Drape it loosely so air can still circulate and get to the plants.

Don’t Use Chlorine Bleach On A Wooden Deck

Chlorine bleach can strip the wood of its natural colour and damage it’s cellular structure. Oxygen bleach is a much better alternative that won’t wash the colour out of the wood and is less harmful to your plants. Be aware that oxygen bleach is not suitable for use on redwood decks.

Do Sand The Deck Before Sealing

Let your deck fully dry, which depending on the weather, can take about 48 hours. When it’s dry, lightly sand the surface of the deck to remove any splinters or fuzzy patches which can be caused by pressure-washing the deck. When you’ve got the deck smooth again, seal the deck to protect it from cracking and warping. A clear sealant tends to last better, whereas a tinted stain or sealant can fade much more quickly with plenty of foot traffic over it. A sealed deck will look good for longer too.

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