How to Maintain Your Deck

A deck can bring many enjoyable hours to you and your family while adding to the appearance and value of your house. Since your deck is exposed to all types of weather, you need to take the maintenance steps that will help prevent damage from occurring and protect your investment. Dixon Painting offers exterior painting and deck maintenance services for a complete home makeover. Investing a little time and money into maintaining your deck now will prevent you from spending hundreds or thousands in deck repair or replacement.

Maintaining the Deck by Season

Late Spring – Clean the Deck

  • Use a putty knife to get between boards and remove debris. Check the areas where deck boards go across the joists underneath.
  • Sweep thoroughly to remove all dirt and debris from the surface.
  • Wet and cover plants around the deck with plastic sheeting.
  • Use cleaner that is made for use on the type of material your deck is made from. Follow the directions given.

For a Wood Deck

  • Avoid cleaning when the sun is hot and shining directly on the deck. Apply the cleaner evenly without letting it pool.
  • Scrub the deck until it looks clean, and then soak it for the recommended time.
  • Clean railings using the same procedure, working upward to prevent double bleaching of the dry wood below.

For a Composite Deck

  • Use a soft brush to scrub, and avoid pressure washing. According to House Logic, a deck brightener which contains oxalic acid can be used to remove stains from rust and leaves.

For a Vinyl Deck

  • Use a stiff broom or brush to scrub, using a circular motion.

For All Decks

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Allow two days for drying prior to sealing.

Seal the Deck

Applying seal to the deck will protect the wood from ultraviolet light and harsh weather. Sealer comes in your choice of clear or lightly tinted, the first of which allows all of the color of the wood to show through, and the second, which adds a tint of color without completely covering the grain. Solid stain adds color that completely covers the grain.

  • Allow for two days of clear weather to complete the sealing process.
  • Sand the deck lightly.
  • Replace any nails or screws that are missing or protruding. Those that are deep and more difficult to remove may be driven further into the wood to prevent doing damage to the deck.

  • Apply sealer to railing using the appropriate brush.

Midsummer – Inspect and Make Necessary Repairs

  • Inspect all areas of the deck for signs of rot, including underneath.
  • Check hardware for rust or loosening.
  • Check railings to be sure they are strong and secure.
  • Replace or repair any areas of concern.

Early Fall – An Ounce of Prevention

To keep the deck mold- and rot-free, you need to keep nearby plants and shrubbery trimmed back from the deck surface. Keep leaves and dirt from piling up in corners by sweeping regularly. Move any fixtures or furniture around to prevent discoloring the deck’s finish. Also, maintain gutters and downspouts to prevent spillage onto the deck.

Professional exterior painting and deck staining services ensure that every step of maintaining your deck is performed expertly. Many homeowners realize too late that the cost of proper deck maintenance is much more affordable than deck repair or replacement.

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