Simple Deck Maintenance Makes Decks Last
If you own a deck, then chances are you know how much enjoyment you get out of it. If you built it yourself or had it built, then you know what a real investment it is! Sadly, the work is not over just because you completed the deck. You deck can last decades if properly taken care of. If not, you'll be lucky to get 10 years out of it, even if you did use the best pressure treated lumber you could find.
So lets plan on performing some routine maintenance to keep our decks looking and performing great for years to come. Here's 3 things every owner should do to help their decks last as long as possible.
The number one thing you can do to help your deck last decades is to keep it clean. I don't mean just power washing. This can cause unrepairable damage to the wood. What I'm talking about is keeping dirt, mud and grime cleaned off the deck. If someone tracks mud all over the deck, then clean it off as soon as possible.
The reason is the dirt and grime will work itself into the fibers of the wood and damage the lumber if not taken care of immediately. When you get mud or dirt on your deck, don't keep letting people walk over it and continue to grind it into the wood. Clean it off. If it's mud, then use a water hose to wash it off. If it's dried mud, then you may need to use a soft nylon brush.
The number two thing you can do to make your deck last longer is to properly seal or paint it. When choosing a deck sealer, do your homework. There are a few brands that are well marketing to deck owners, but they aren't necessarily the best sealer for your deck. Check reviews and the DIY forums to find what others are using to seal their investments with.
Painting is a great option for the owners. Just be sure you get a paint designed for decks and gazebos. 2 thin coats are normally better than one heavy coat, but be sure to check with the manufacturer of the paint you're using to see what they suggest. There are some great one coat paints, but most I'm familiar with will suggest 2 thin ones.
The last thing you can do to make your deck last longer is to consider adding a covering over it. A permanent roof is the ideal solution, but many people are opting for those roll out awnings. The problem with those is that people tend to roll them up when they're done sitting on the deck.
A covering is important because it provides protection from the elements. Not only rain, sleet and snow, but the Sun as well. Summer time Sun bearing down on your deck for 12 to 18 hours a day in can take its toll over the years. Plus, a covering allows you to enjoy your investment more since you can sit out during hot Sunny days or during inclement wather! You'll be getting more bang for your buck by adding a cover.