How to Properly Care for Your Deck

Caring for your deck can be as simple as a little soap and water with today’s composite decks to something more labor and time intensive that is better handled by a professional as with wood decks. No matter what type of deck you have, caring for it properly will help to maintain its beauty and keep your investment secure.

For many homeowners maintaining their wood deck properly is more of an investment of time, labor, and expertise than they bargained for. Even if you wisely choose to have a professional maintain and clean your deck, it’s important to understand what may need to be done in order to ensure the right choice of professional maintenance help.

As outdoor spaces, decks are exposed to extreme elements of heat, cold, and moisture. With wood decks, this means annual and semiannual maintenance. When it comes to Semiannual cleaning and maintenance, the most important task is washing the deck to ensure the removal of mold and dirt that can build up and lead to rot.

A professional service will do an inspection of your deck before they engage in power washing to ensure that there are no existing signs of rot and the structural integrity of the deck is sound. This will include the railing, spindles, deck joists and any footings. Since many professional services that specialize in deck power washing will charge by the hour, half day or full day, any extra time can be devoted to power washing any brick patio elements or walkways.

Although power washing is not rocket science, it does require some knowledge of pressure tolerances of materials and the proper technique to ensure that surrounding areas are not damaged in any way. The service should be able to ensure that they can adjust the power wash pressure for paving stones that are mortar free so as not to loosen or damage the integrity of the pavers and pattern, surrounding grass or other elements.

This process also gives them the opportunity to put plastic covers over any bushes, flower beds or shrubs that may be in close proximity to the deck. A quality service uses the proper cleaners to restore the deck to a pristine look while also doing no harm to plants, vegetation, grass or soil. There are a number of quality organic cleaners available, so it’s a good idea to enquire about the cleaners that they use. The same goes for sealing your wood deck, which should be done once a year.

Although today’s composite decks are maintenance free in comparison to wood decks, owners should clean them with soap and water once or twice a year. Composite decks are made of materials that will not rot, rust, fade or mildew. Despite the fact that very little can go wrong with their structural soundness, it is still a good idea to periodically make a visual inspection.

Some important tips to remember with composite decks is to never use shovels or any sharp objects to remove snow and ice from the deck in the winter. Your deck design and building specialist is supremely knowledgeable about the product that they employ. Consequently, they can suggest the best snow melt products to use that will be safe for the decking materials.

It is best to remove any residue left over from the recommended ice removal product once the snow has cleared by sweeping it up and disposing of it properly. This will ensure that the granules will not end up in flower, beds, soil, or be tracked into the house.

If you have chosen the most experienced deck and patio designer and builder with the best crews and materials, you have created an outdoor space that adds untold beauty, value, and enjoyment to your home. By consulting them about maintenance and choosing professionals that can do the job right following completion of the installation, you will enjoy the beauty of your deck, patio or porch for many years to come.

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