Decks have become an extremely popular, low-cost way to add living space to a home. Decks make it convenient to enjoy sitting outside day or night. They open up the home and facilitate entertaining and outdoor dining. Yet, decks are also subject to the damaging effects of weather. As such, deck maintenance is critical to prevent discoloration caused by dirt, moss, algae, and other plants. These deck enemies tear apart the surface of the wood. Splinters form, creating a rougher surface that is even more inviting to dirt and plants. Before long, you have a dingy deck that's treacherous when wet and riddled with splinters.
Here are a few questions and answers you might have about your deck.
Yes. To ensure that the deck continues to look good with minimal splintering and discoloration, the deck should be sealed as soon as it becomes stabilized within its environment. This usually means waiting a few weeks after the deck is completed before sealing.
Many people never treat and seal their decks. Untreated decks don't fall down or rot away quickly. Nothing dramatic happens. They will simply get dirty and the surface will become much rougher much sooner. Splinters are a common problem with wood decks. Another hazard is slick surfaces. Much of the "dirt" we see on a poorly maintained deck is actually living organisms. Just like the algae and moss that grow on rocks next to a stream, the organic material growing on a deck can make the deck very slippery when wet. Cleaning and sealing a deck kills, removes, and slows the return of organic build-up.
Approximately once a year, the deck should be checked for loose boards and protruding nails, thoroughly cleaned, and resealed. Cleaning involves the removal of dirt, algae, moss, and other organic matter. Resealing is accomplished by applying a clear or semi-clear liquid sealant to all exposed surfaces. Sealants come in either a water or oil-based formula. Professional sealants, which are typically superior, are oil-based. Some sealants contain stain to tint the color of the deck.
Here at Elite Renovation System we recommend an annual inspection of your wood decks to assess your needs and recommend the best course of action.Basic deck maintenance includes inspection and preparing your deck for the outdoor season, cleaning and power washing, and sealing/staining the deck when necessary. Call us today at 847.907.4571 to schedule an appointment to service your deck.