Weather conditions pose a challenge to your home’s exterior and are put to the test, and the effects are evident more quickly than you might imagine: dry rotting, metal corrosion, color fading. However, your deck does not need to suffer untimely demise due to the elements.
By taking a few proactive steps advised by A.K Custom Fence & Deck builders in Tacoma, your deck can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor paradise for years to come. This bit of advice will make a difference.
How do you take care of a custom wooden deck?
The custom deck designs made of wood take constant abuse from foot traffic, constant exposure to the elements, and regular use, but you can maintain their appearance by periodically cleaning and refinishing them. Though the whole process of maintaining and protecting your deck can be daunting, when you see the results, you will be rewarded.
1. Regularly Inspect
Good wood deck maintenance involves checking for rot and determining whether the deck is structurally sound on a regular basis. If you are interested in finding out how to maintain a wood deck, summer can be a good time since the air is warm and dry.
Make sure to examine the wood where the ledger board touches the house’s side and where the stairs touch the ground. You should wiggle or put pressure on the railings to ensure their connections are tight as part of the deck inspection.
2. Fix and Repair Damaged Deck Boards
Following an inspection of the deck, repairs should be performed if necessary. Nails that protrude above the surface of the board should be driven flush with the surface, or they should be replaced with screws. Replace or repair badly degraded boards. If you are cleaning a deck painted with paint, keep any replaced boards so you can match the paint at your local hardware store without guessing.
Hardscapes made of wood, especially decks, benefit from constant cleaning and maintenance. You may have to apply a little elbow grease to clean your deck, but it is so worth it to begin the year with a deck that looks as good as the day deck contractors built it. Your annual deck care routine consists of the following steps:
- Ensure the deck is clear of patio furniture, planters, toys, and other debris.
- Sweep your deck well to remove any dust, dirt, or grit.
- Make sure you clean between the boards with a thin tool, such as a putty knife.
- Choose a mildew-killing formula when selecting a biodegradable outdoor cleaner.
- Use a stiff-bristled broom or a stiff-bristled brush with an extension handle to scrub the entire area.
- Use your garden hose to rinse the area.
- When you are cleaning a grimy deck, pressure-wash it instead. You will save your back, and you will be pleased with the results. Make sure, though, you’re using a pressure washer in a setting appropriate for your deck.
4. Sand the Deck
Before applying a stain to the deck, sand the surface to ensure the wood will absorb the coating more easily. You can also create a smoother, more comfortable surface that is less likely to create splinters by sanding.
5. Staining the deck
The best way to ensure that wood’s natural grain and color remain intact is to apply a pigment to its surface. Instead of the sun’s rays directly bleaching the wood surface, the rays are absorbed by the stain instead.
A stain should be applied at least once a year to protect the wood’s natural hues and characteristics. In addition, the stain provides a protective film that prevents wood from cracking or warping.
6. Apply the Sealant
The best UV protection offered by staining is not as effective in protecting wooden decks from moisture damage. You need to seal in your stain after you apply it, which will waterproof the wood and help keep water out.
Select a day when it is not too hot or windy. In a hot climate, the sealant can dry before fully absorbing and treating the wood. If you plan on sealing over a wide area, apply your sealant over a few thin coats rather than one thick one. It ensures a cleaner finish and will help the sealant dry more quickly and evenly.
Making a long-term maintenance schedule for wooden decks can allow them to be inspected, cleaned, and refinished whenever necessary. With good maintenance, your deck will look its best, and you’ll have fewer chances of having to replace the whole thing.
A.K. Custom Fence & Deck, one of the best deck builder in Tacoma, WA, knows exactly what your outdoor structures will need to thrive in harsh environments. You can count on our professionals for assistance in preparing your deck and offering custom tips on maintenance, so it is ready for the new season.