Whether your deck has just been added to your home or it has been a part of your home’s exterior for years, it is important to understand proper care and maintenance to keep your deck lasting through the years. With a new deck addition, NJ home remodelers T&K will ensure the deck is properly treated and stained but the next year and every year after it is important to check the wood boards & hardware, keep the deck cleaned and periodically re-stain the wood.
Checking Wood Boards is crucial in your overall home safety. While this may not happen for many years, there are outside factors that could rot the wood sooner rather than later (termites, mold). You will want to periodically check the strength of your wood boards ensuring there are no serious damage, such as large chunks missing, large cracks that compromise the strength of the board, or mold. Your first indication that there is an issue will be visual – spotting these imperfections. The next clue will be loose or soft boards. If a board on your deck moves when you walk over it, check the board for any damage above and below. Regardless, to ensure absolute safety, any loose or bending deck boards should be replaced with new, strong board.
Ensuring your hardware is tightened and not rotting is also crucial. Yearly it is recommended to walk around and under your deck to check the support system and ensure all screws are in place, tightening any that are loose. While this typically will not happen on a new deck addition, as your deck grows in years these precautions will be necessary for your safety.
Cleaning your wood deck is also an important seasonal measure you can take to ensure your deck lasts as long as possible. At least yearly, your deck should be pressure-washed ensuring any dirt or other compromising materials are removed. If your deck is under a tree or you have grease and oil from a grill dripping onto your deck, you may want to wash the boards more often as grease and tree sap can compromise the integrity of the wood. When power washing your deck, make sure not to use the highest pressure setting as it may damage the wood further.
Finally, keeping your deck protected will help it last for quite a long time. Re-staining of your deck can be done every few years, but use your own best judgement to determine if it is needed more or less. Most important is getting a stain that is made for outdoors. There are many outdoor stains available and we recommend checking with your local hardware store for what will work for your deck and environment. Make sure your deck is clean and dry prior to applying the stain and make sure to follow the stain directions carefully.
With proper precautions, care and maintenance of your wood deck addition, you will be able to enjoy years of relaxation and entertaining in your own yard. If you need help maintaining, cleaning or staining your deck through the years, T&K’s handyman service HomeWorks Division is available to manage these projects for you.