All that work has paid off and you are enjoying the beauty and convenience of your well designed deck. The whole family, their friends, neighbourhood children, pets, etc love all the extra space to run around and play in.
However protected the wood is, over the years, it is a big challenge to keep it secure and sturdy as well as aesthetically pleasing. Over the years, there are many challenges to the deck such as:
- Foot traffic
- Furniture scrapes
- Grill (and heat produced by it)
- UV rays from the atmosphere
- Insects, Algae or fungi
- Wind, storms and tornado activity
- Wood warping or checking
- Movement of deck supports
- Water below deck can cause supports to weaken
- Mud and dirt tracked on to the deck damages stains or sealers.
- Water getting into nail holes causing warping
- Nails popping up above the surface
The condition of a deck after a few years depends on the maintenance that we perform on it regularly. A well maintained deck retains its beauty forever. To keep the deck as beautiful as the day it was built, we need to do the following:
1. Periodically check for nails that pop up from the wood. Reset it with a drip pin as soon as they are found. This prevents accident spills and injuries.
2. Over the years, a lot of dirt and dust builds up on the deck. This can be removed using good cleansing deck wash. Avoid chlorine bleaches which may damage the wood as well as the surrounding greenery. A power washer can give the deck a thorough cleaning. However, take care not to use it too close to the wood as this may damage the wood.
3. Use a long handled brush to loosen the collected dirt until you see the grain of the wood clearly.
4. Add a wood brightener which removes all dirt from the wood and brightens it. Work the brightener into a small area and use the power washer to remove even more dirt from the boards.
5. Thoroughly dry out the deck for a couple of days.
6. It is time to apply a sealer which will waterproof the deck, giving is some colour without masking the natural grain and also protect it from UV rays and other external threats. Remember to apply the sealer on the sides of the wood slats, starting with the top.
7. Apply the sealer on the deck using a painting pad with even strokes along the grain. One coat is all that is needed for years of protection.
Periodically, it is good to clean the deck with just a simple round of soap and water is enough to keep your deck in the best condition for years to come.