The Dos and Don’ts of Deck Maintenance

Decks are one of the most desired additions to any home. They serve as the outdoor entertaining area for guests and the favorite dining area for your weekend BBQs! However, just like any part of the home, decks require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking beautiful. But be careful! There are many maintenance mistakes homeowners make that unintentionally damage their decks. That’s why in today’s blog, we decided to go over the dos and don’ts of deck maintenance! By following the correct procedures, you’ll be able to get more life from your outdoor living area!

DO: Clean the Deck Thoroughly Once a Year

Decks need an annual exfoliation so that the protective sealers can seep deeper into the wood. We recommend doing this when it’s moderately warm (around 60° – 70° Fahrenheit). You should first start by applying an appropriate deck cleaning solution with a sprayer or roller to eliminate mold and bacteria. Use a brush to scrub the deck where it’s especially dirty or where mildew/mold might lurk. Power washers are an effective tool for getting this done when done correctly.

DON’T: Don’t Go Overboard with the Power Washer

A power washer is a labor and time-saving tool—when done correctly. If you don’t have experience power washing decks with this equipment, your deck could end up looking like wood-boring larvae have been at work. To prevent this from happening, sweep the nozzle along the deck at a slight angle, about 8 inches from the surface. Be sure to move the nozzle at all times while the trigger is enhanced to prevent deck damage.

DO: Cover Up Nearby Shrubbery Before Starting

The chemicals used in cleaners and sealers can potentially harm or even kill your plants, so it’s important that you cover them up before proceeding with your maintenance requirements! You can cover up your nearby vegetation with a tarp or plastic sheet. But remember to drape it loosely so that the plants can breathe.

Person covering up plants

DON’T: Do Not Clean the Deck with Chlorine Bleach

Unless you want to stop the wood of its natural color and damage its cellular structure, we recommend not cleaning your deck with chlorine bleach. On the other hand, oxygen bleach is an all-purpose bleach alternative that will not wash out the color or harm your surrounding plants.

DO: Sand Your Deck Before Sealing

Did you know that it takes up to 48 hours for your deck to fully dry? After that wait-time, lightly sand the surface of your deck to remove splintery or any fuzzy patches caused by the power washer. A sander with 80-grit sandpaper will suffice for the job. After the sanding, you now seal the deck to protect it from warping, cupping, and cracking.

DON’T: Don’t Use Paint as a Sealer

Paint might look nice when it’s first applied, but it’ll quickly look distressed before long! If you decide to refinish your deck with a different sealant, you’ll have to remove the paint with a sander or stripper first. Finishes that don’t penetrate the wood—including lacquer and varnishes—will only crack and peel!

Decks & Patios Can Help!

When it comes to deck maintenance, it’s best to leave it in the lands of the professionals. At Decks & Patios, we can take care of all of your deck maintenance needs. Not only will this option remove the burden from you, but it’ll ensure that the maintenance is done correctly and in the best way possible. We hope this list of dos and don’ts of deck maintenance helped! If your deck needs to be inspected and given some quality maintenance, our expert team can help! Give us a call at (866) 572-0527, or click here for a free quote!