A nice wood deck is a great improvement to your home. Add some outdoor furniture and you have a nice place for company to gather for the outdoor barbeque or the family to sit and enjoy a nice evening. When properly maintained it will withstand winters and last for many years. Here are some tips to keep your deck in good condition for years to come.
Sweep away leaves and debris from between the deck boards. Dirt and leaves build up and cause standing water to remain on top of the deck rather than draining through. Proper ventilation is important to avoid moisture build up and damage to the wood. Mildew can be very damaging and should be removed as soon as it appears. Clean the deck thoroughly with a product specially designed for wood decks. Weathered wood, rust spots, mold and mildew will ruin the look of your new deck and cause rotting. If the deck is new and untreated, cleaning restores the wood to its natural beauty and removes ground in dirt that prevents the adhesion of stains and sealers. An older deck will require the use of a stripper to remove any deteriorating finish before cleaning.
Flower pots and planters which set directly on the deck's surface may cause staining. They should be moved around often to minimize this effect. You can also set them on cedar board to create space between the deck and the planter. Cedar has natural compounds that resist deterioration, rot and decay while allowing moisture to evaporate.
When the deck is clean, allow it to dry thoroughly, and then apply a sealer to protect it from rain, sleet, snow and ice which will cause the wood to warp or crack. Thompsons water seal can be applied with a brush, roller or sprayer. It is a quick and affordable way to protect your investment and keep your deck looking like new for many years. One coat is sufficient to protect the wood through a harsh winter. If winters are relatively mild, you may not need to seal it every year. If water beads up on the wood and doesn't soak in, the sealer is still doing its job and you won't need to seal it.
It is only necessary to apply the sealer to the top surface of the wood. Coating the wood on all sides prevents any moisture that does get in from escaping, causing the wood to rot from the inside.
In the winter, shovel the snow with a plastic shovel, moving lengthwise on the deck boards to prevent scratching the wood. Avoid using salt as it could discolor the wood and damage deck finishes.
Your deck is one of your largest outdoor investments. Simple maintenance will keep it protected through the winter months so you can enjoy it in the warmer season. Clean it every spring and fall and use a quality deck sealer before winter to protect your investment.
This article was written by Keith Paul of HandyPro Handyman Services. HandyPro specializes in home repairs and commercial facility services. The handyman sent to do all jobs is licensed and bonded, experienced and customer friendly. Our handyman will provide 100% customer satisfaction in doing quality work and cleaning up when the job is complete. http://www.handypro.com services Southeast Michigan, Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Westland, Garden City, Wayne, Romulus, Inkster, Belleville, Birmingham, Allen Park, Taylor, Troy, Commerce Twp and neighboring cities and communities.