Wooden decks are an outdoor extension of your home. If you've made the investment, you'll want to care for your deck to keep it looking its best. Here are five tips for maintaining your wooden deck so you can enjoy it for years to come.
1. Clean the Deck Thoroughly Once a Year
Decks need to be exfoliated annually so the protective sealers can seep deeper into the wood. Use a deck cleaning solution with a roller or sprayer to eliminate mold and bacteria. Use a utility brush to scrub spots that are particularly soiled. A garden hose with a jet stream will work to rinse off the cleaning solution. If you use a power washer, you risk gouging the wood.
2. Sand the Deck Before Sealing
Once the deck is fully dry, sand the deck with a pole sander. 80-grit sandpaper is best. Power sanders are too harsh. Seal the deck with clear sealer (which lasts longer) or a tinted stain.
3. Clean the Deck Periodically
Since decks are exposed to the elements year-round, they need to be cleaned periodically to protect them. Sweep away puddles and debris, and shovel snow off the deck to keep it in tip-top shape.
4. Check for Damage
Inspect your deck for any splintering or rotting, loose nails or deck detachments and split planks. Promptly repair any damage that could be hazardous.
5. Don't Use Natural Materials Under Deck Furniture
You'll want to protect the deck from scratches made my furniture legs, but don't use rugs made of natural materials like jute or bamboo. These absorb moisture and promote mildew. Opt for recycled plastic rugs instead because they dry quickly.