3 Ways to Keep Your Wooden Deck Like New

Monday, April 20 2015 10:49 AM

A wooden deck makes for a great addition to your home, but it also requires a lot of maintenance. Decks are constantly exposed to the elements, and even the sturdiest wooden structures are prone to weather damage and rotting. In Wichita, extreme temperature changes, heavy rain, snow and everything in between can impact the wood in your deck. A well-maintained wooden deck can look like new, even if it was built years ago. Here are three things you can do to keep your wooden deck looking its best.

Cleaning Your Deck

The simple act of cleaning a wooden deck can go a long way towards keeping it in good condition. An unwashed deck eventually attracts mold and mildew, which in turn can lead to rot.

A well-maintained deck will add beauty to your home for years.

Loose dirt and debris can be swept away with a broom, while any dirt that has settled can be removed through pressure washing. When you pressure wash your deck,wooden deck cleaning make sure to keep the pressure stream moving at an even pace to avoid gouging the wood. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden sprayer will work. You can also apply a deck cleaner with a paint roller or stiff-bristled brush instead. Whatever method you go with, try to choose a cloudy day for this job to keep the cleaner from evaporating too quickly in the sun. Allow your deck to dry for two days before moving onto the next step.

Repairing Split Deck Boards

If your deck has boards that are split or breaking, you will need to cut, remove and replace the broken board sections. To begin, make a mark on the damaged board along the leading edge of the next support joist after where the split occurs. Be sure not to mark over the top of a joist to avoid damaging your saw blade when you make your cut.

Using a jigsaw, make a clean cut removing the broken board section after removing any nails or deck screws attached. Screw in a 2×4 support block to the joist that will hold your new replacement board into position. Measure and cut a replacement board section and use deck screws to fasten the new board section to the support block and joists.

The new board section may be slightly higher than the existing deck, but it will shrink over time as it loses moisture in the subsequent weeks. If the new board section remains higher than the rest of the deck floor after a few weeks, you can use a belt sander to smooth it down to level.

Water Sealing Your Deck

After cleaning your deck, your next step will be to apply a sealer. When it comes to choosing a sealer, you have a few options. You can apply a clear sealer to allow the natural look of the wood to show through, you can use a toner to add some color and UV protection to the wood, or you can apply a stain if you want to give the wood a whole new look.

Sealing a deck is usually a two-day job, so pick a period that will have clear skies, moderate temperatures and that will work within your schedule. Lightly sand your deck with 80-grit sandpaper to prevent any “furriness” that can occur with washing, and fix popped nails and screws. Most protruding nails can be safely removed and replaced with deck screws, but those that are only slightly protruding should just be hammered back into place. Once you’ve sanded your deck and fixed any popped nails, you can apply your sealer with a roller or brush. Keep the coats thin, and don’t let the sealer puddle.

The process of cleaning and sealing a deck should be done every year, preferably in the late spring or early summer. Providing you stay on top of your deck maintenance and cleaning, this is the biggest task you will have to do. During the rest of the year, try to keep your deck clear of dirt, debris and snow, and watch for signs of rot. If you find that you have to make major repairs, don’t be afraid to call a contractor for help.

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