Deck Maintenance 101: How to Keep Your Deck Looking Brand New

Did you know that a deck can add almost $9,000 worth of value onto your home? This value only remains, however, if you properly maintain and keep the deck in top shape.

There are tasks that you can accomplish yourself in order to keep your deck looking brand new.

Here are some deck maintenance tips of how to keep it looking brand new.

Sweeping is Deck Maintenance

One of the easiest ways you can maintain the look of your deck is to simply sweep it.

Make it part of your routine sweep off your deck around once a week. This will remove any leaves and other plant debris that accumulate throughout the week due to winds, backyard bushes, and backyard trees.

Plant debris can pile up on your deck and collect moisture from things like morning dew and heavy rains. Over time, this moisture can deteriorate the wood on your deck.

Removing Old Stain

If you’re considering putting a new layer of stain on your deck, you’ll first want to scrape off the loose bits of your old stain.

The old stain can become loose and peel off over time ruining your re-stained deck. Do a once over of the deck so that you can fix all these affected areas are before you begin.

You’ll want to invest in a paint scraper to do the job. Use the paint scraper and take away the stain in those bad areas until you can see the raw wood beneath it.

The paint scraper will take away the stain, but it will leave the areas rough around the edges. This is a great time to bring in a sanding tool.

The sanding tool will further buff away at the wood to create a smoother surface of bare wood.

Cleaning Your Deck

You should wash and clean your deck once a season for proper maintenance.

A good tool for this job is a brush with stiff bristles so that you can get a good deep clean. This is especially important if you intend on staining your deck afterwards.

Without a good clean, it’s possible that your stain will not work as well as it should.

After applying the deck cleaner to the deck, wait 15-20 minutes to let it set before rinsing everything off.

Pressure Washing

Using a fan spray nozzle on your pressure washer, wash away the cleaning residue.

To make sure you don’t damage the wood on your deck, try turning the pressure washer on low before you begin washing. Check with the manufacturer of your deck to better understand the proper setting for your pressure washer.

Pressure washing will saturate the deck with water, so make sure to let it dry before moving on to the next step in your cleaning process.

Choosing the Right Stain

Decks will require some sort of clear coating or a stain to preserve the integrity of the wood.

Look for a wood preservative that contains a UV protector to block the harmful UV rays. Apply this clear deck coating about once a year.

You can also choose to stain the wood on your deck a darker color.

A deck that can repel water needs a stain that can go deep into the wood and seal it. You can also look into the option of using oil-based stains over water-based ones.

If you aren’t sure if you need to seal your deck again, try pouring a little water on it. If the water rolls away, the seal is still sufficient. If the water absorbs into the deck immediately, then you should probably plan on putting aside a day to seal your deck again.

There are a variety of different tools that you can use to get the job done like paint brushes, staining pads, paint rollers, and even paint sprayers. You might want to consider starting with a test area first before moving on to the whole deck.

This will help ensure that you are using the right tool. You can also refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to best treat their specific decking. This includes their recommendation of how often to stain the deck.

Fix Rot Issues

In some cases, your deck may begin to rot in certain places. This can happen because of exposure to moisture or close to the downspouts on your house.

You can test for rot by prodding the deck boards with a screwdriver. If your screwdriver can manage to penetrate the wood close to a quarter-inch in with moderate pressure.

Remove any floorboards if they are beyond repair. These will need replacing.

Reinforce boards and pieces of the frame that need strengthening. This is a good time to call in the professionals for assistance.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Your deck gets a lot of sunlight because it is outside. The sunlight has a way of changing the color of your deck over time.

In order to prevent splotches of discoloration, consider occasionally moving anything that sits on your deck like your plant stands and furniture.

Keeping the grounds around your backyard deck clean is a great way to prevent your deck from degrading.

You can prevent access damage to your deck by always cutting back the nearby trees, shrubs, and bushes so that they stay at least a foot away from the deck. These plants create debris that retains moisture and that gather in the corners of your deck.

That can lead to problems like moss, rot, and other types of mold which can ruin your deck.

Create a Cleaning Routine

These deck maintenance tips will help you keep your deck looking pristine and like new. Take these tips and incorporate them into the cleaning routine for your home. For an even more thorough clean or restoration, you can always call on the professionals for assistance.

With over 30 years of experience, Diamond Decks specializes in designing quality custom residential and commercial decks.

Continue to read through our blog for more tips and information to help you keep your deck beautiful.