Wood Deck Maintenance – 5 Tips

A wood deck can be a great addition to your home. However, it can also be a pain in the neck to maintain. If you have a wood deck then you need to take steps to protect it from the elements and to keep it looking great.

Build It Right

The first maintenance step for wood decks is to build it properly. Use wood that has been pretreated for outdoor use. Also provide the deck with cement footings to protect the deck’s supports from moisture and corrosive elements.

Protect It

Each year you will want to re-stain your wood deck. This will help to protect the delicate wood from decay and weathering. When you stain your deck make sure that you use a stain that is intended for outdoor use.

Test Cleaning and Staining Products Before You Apply it to Your Deck

There are a lot of products that you can use to clean and stain your wood deck. However, before you use any product your need to test it out on a less visible portion of your deck to make sure that the product doesn’t react negatively to the building materials used in the construction of your deck. This test is often referred to as a splash test.

Repair Damage and Worn Parts as They Occur

One of the factors that ages and degrades a wood deck is damaged parts. Damage can occur to the boards, rails, footings, supports, and hardware. To avoid serious damage to your deck you should inspect your deck periodically. Look for loose bolts, loose rails, squeaks, dry rot, and damaged boards. Replace the items that are damaged as they occur. This will help to reduce the chance that more damage will develop, and it will help to preserve the integrity of the deck.

Reduce Your Deck’s Exposure to Moisture

Water is the biggest enemy of wood decks. It stains the wood, warps it, and rots it. To keep your deck looking its best, and to prevent serious damage, you need to reduce how much moisture the deck is exposed to. To do this you will want to remove water puddles from your deck after a storm, maintain a solid coat of stain on all of the wood components of the deck, and provide your deck with a roof, if at all possible.

Conclusion

These tips are very simple and they can be accomplished by just about anyone. However, by using these simple steps to care for your wood deck you will be able to protect it from serious damage and you will be able to prolong its life. If you have never repaired a deck before don’t worry because it is not difficult to do, but if you need more in-depth instructions then you can visit your local public library to check out a book on deck repair and maintenance.

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