Outdoor Deck Maintenance
Now that spring is here, it’s the perfect time to check your deck for damage from old man winter and reseal the deck after any repairs have been made. Here is a quick step by step list of how you can perform a spring clean-up on your deck.
CLEANING YOUR DECK
To truly assess the condition of your deck, the first thing you must do is wash it. Be sure to remove any debris and wood fibers by using a power washer. Be sure to always keep the power washer stream in motion so you don’t inadvertently gouge your deck. Your deck will need to dry overnight before it will be ready for an inspection.
REPLACE NAIL POPS
When a nail has worked its way loose of the wood, this is called a nail pop. In the case of a deck, it is best to remove the nail and replace it with a screw that is longer than the nail was, and reattach the plank.
REPLACE BROKEN OR SPLIT PLANKS
If you see any boards that are split, you’ll need to remove and replace that board. Remove the nails or screws to enable you to remove the damaged board. Cut a replace board to the proper size and fasten to the existing joists and or support block with deck screws. Initially the new board will appear to be larger than the existing boards, but it should shrink to fit as it loses moisture.
STAINING AND SEALING
Even if your deck is made of pressure treated wood, it is still exposed and vulnerable to moisture and sunlight. To preserve and lengthen the life of your deck, use a stain that closely matches the color of the existing deck and contains a UV protector. Always use a semi-transparent stain for the decking area and if you want to use color for the railings or banisters then you would use an exterior stain of solid color.
First apply the stain with a roller or a brush, after a 20 minute break to allow the stain to begin setting you can go back over the deck with a brush to blend in any puddles or rough spot to give the deck surface a more consistent look. After about 30-45 minutes you will be ready to apply the second coat of stain. You will need to allow at least 48 hours for the stain to penetrate and thoroughly dry. Now you are ready to apply the clear sealant. Allow at least 24 hours for the sealant to fully dry before adding deck chairs and tables.
When you have taken the time to care and maintain your deck, you will be rewarded with a longer life to your deck. If this all sounds a bit too complicated and time consuming, don’t worry Andy OnCall® has skilled handymen who can take care of all of this for you.