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Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
People often forget how wonderful it is to have a deck
attached to their house. It may be a pool deck, a patio deck, a roof
deck, or even a deck surrounding a hot tub, but it's still
ultimately an extension of your home. The functionality of a deck is
endless. It can be a comfortable place to eat, a quiet get away from
the everyday sounds from within your home, a place to entertain
guests, or even a relaxing place to bask in the sun.
Unfortunately, because they are located outdoors, decks fall victim
to the damaging affects of Mother Nature. Without the proper
maintenance, factors such as rain, snow, dirt and algae will begin
to discolor your deck. Eventually, the surface of your deck will
start to warp and form splinters, chips and loose boards. If you
don't check for and replace damaged boards on a regular basis, you
could be setting yourself or your family up for harm.
Helpful Tips for Maintaining Your Deck:
• At least once a year, check the boards that make up the surface of
your deck. If you notice that the boards are curling, rotting, or
cracking it is time to replace them.
• Inspect the structural support of your deck. Often times, animals
and insects will wear away at the wood that holds your deck in
place. If you do notice damage to the structural support, consider
calling in a pest control expert. Also, it may be a good idea to
build an extra barrier for additional protection.
• Check for loose nails, bolts and screws. Use a hammer, wrench, or
screwdriver to put the loose elements back in place.
• On a regular basis make sure to clean your deck. This requires you
to remove all outdoor furniture, toys, grills, and plants. Clear the
deck entirely. Thoroughly remove all dirt and grime with a power
nozzle attached to the hose, or with a power washer. Warm, soapy
water works well for mold and mildew removal.
• Seal your deck. If your deck is already finished or sealed, you
will need to remove that surface cover first. Next, purchase a new
sealant or stain. Sealants can be sprayed on (fastest method),
rolled on, or brushed on. Sealants are used to protect the wood from
• Before applying a sealant, you may need to sand your deck first to
create a smooth surface.
Consider painting your deck or using a light finish for extra
protection. This will also improve the overall visibility and