Wood Deck Maintenance

Wood Deck Maintenance

A deck can add years of enjoyment to your home, but over time the wood decking can wear down and even begin to rot if not properly maintained. A little care and know-how will ensure you have a more durable and appealing outdoor space for years to come.

Regularly Inspect the Deck

One of the keys to good wood deck maintenance is giving it regular inspections for rot and seeing whether it’s structurally sound. When learning how to maintain a wood deck, summer offers a good time to inspect the deck’s condition, as the air is warm and dry.

Be sure to inspect the wood where the ledger board meets the side of your house and where the stairs contact the ground. As part of the deck inspection, wiggle or put weight against the railings to make sure they have tight connections. If you notice raised or exposed nails, pry them up and replace them with wood screws. Fill holes in boards with exterior wood filler. Keep the deck swept clear, especially when leaves are falling in autumn.

Replace Damaged Deck Boards

Occasionally, it may be necessary to replace a broken or damaged board in your deck. We cut replacement board to fit the current board area with the same type of wood and stain or coat to match the other boards. Expect the new replacement boards to stand out compared to the older, more weathered boards.

Tip: If you have multiple boards that need replacement, consider replacing all of the deck boards at once for a fresh, uniform appearance with structural integrity.

Annual Cleanings

Part of deck care is giving a deck a good cleaning once a year. Consider scheduling it when temperatures are mild, such as in spring. We can clear any deck furniture, toys and potted plants out of the way, sweep and then pressure wash the deck as well as surrounding areas. We clean the deck by spraying a biodegradable outdoor cleaner that removes mildew, mold, and stubborn stains.

Resurfacing, Staining, and Sealing

If your boards need a new protective coating as part of deck maintenance, or have never had a protective coat, you should stain or seal them. A stain or sealant will improve the deck’s appearance while guarding against the elements. Some types of stain or sealant require new application every few years for best results.

If you plan to stain the deck, sand the surface before application to make the wood better to absorb the coating. Sanding also offers the advantage of creating a smoother, more comfortable surface less likely to have splinters.

Tip: Allow a new, unsealed deck to weather for 60 to 90 days before staining.