Staining, Sealing & Maintaining Your Deck
Decks, being the outdoor addition to every house, is one of the most eye-catching elements. Homeowners who want to establish a strong first image put a lot of effort into maintaining their decks’ quality. It is not an easy task to preserve the fresh look of a deck. Most homeowners find it particularly hard to maintain the quality of their decks. Evidently, a lot of factors can cause decks to deteriorate. Eventually, they end up losing aesthetic value, and homeowners are left to wonder how to restore the quality of their once healthy-looking decks. This article provides some useful tips on keeping your deck looking and feeling brand new.
General Deck Maintenance Tips
- Safeguarding Decks From Ultraviolet Rays: A protective coating of the formerly mentioned sealant can also shield your deck from UV rays, which cause decks to grey and fade with time.
- Eliminate Mold and Mildew: Water can assist the growth of molds, fungi, and mildew. The sealant contains several ingredients that are seemingly benign to humans and pets, but they inhibit the growth of microbes.
- Enhance The Appearance by Adding Color: Once a coating of paint is applied, the deck’s porous parts absorb more paint, which gives the deck a sort of contrasting appearance, highlighting its vintage aesthetic. Some even like to change the natural appearance of their decks by applying a coat of stain. However, most apply stains to enhance their “natural” appearance; for example, a red stain over mahogany wood will intensify the natural color.
Routine Deck Maintenance Checklist
Now that we have gone over the tips to maintain the decks’ overall health, we shall now go through some of the routine deck maintenance steps to ensure decks’ longevity.
- Conduct Visual Inspection: Keep a lookout for loose boards and screws. If you happened to find a screw sticking out, make sure to tighten it. Rotten wood forms soft patches if you find such a patch poke it with a screwdriver. If it forms a depression, it means it has rotten. Large patches of mold can be cleaned off with fungicide; take extra care of compostable wood for it includes an ingredient “wood flour” from which all-natural fungicides are removed so a patch can only indicate the development of bumper crop version of the mold and mildew which can be treated exclusively by concentrated fungicide.
- Prepare Your Deck: Clear the deck of any debris, twigs, and leaves. Secondly, rinse off the deck for it will erode the heavy formation of dirt and mud. Rinsing will also allow the cleanser to work more effectively by letting it stay wet for a prolonged period of time.
- Make Sure to Wash: Always use a nylon brush to clean your deck. Select a cleanser — from among bleach-based, lye-based, acid-based, and oxygen-based — suitable for your deck, too harsh cleansers can be harmful to your decking material. Read the instructions and gently clean your deck. Power washing can again result in damage to the material.
- Lastly, Always Stain and Protect: Stains may or may not have sealant properties. They are named stain or penetrating stain, respectively. The latter category contains further classes of sealants depending on the amount of pigment delivered: clear, tinted, transparent, semi-solid, solid. Further, apply water or oil-based solvent using a roller brush for an even coating. Finally, protect your composite decks by re-applying a coat every 1-2 years to prevent decay.