Now that it is almost summer, you may find yourself spending time on your deck to feel the summer breeze, or just gaze out at your surroundings. As you do, you may notice that your deck has been neglected in the past few months, and now has debris or repairs that you need to take care of. If you don’t know how to clean and maintain your deck, here are some tips to help you out:
Before you start any work on your deck, make sure to give it a good wash. This is an important step because if your deck has been exposed to constant rain and sun, it is most likely home to mold and mildew, which can cause the wood to rot.
When washing your deck, one of the essential things to know is the type of cleanser that you are going to use. According to Property Washers, it’s essential to use a cleanser that’s appropriate for your deck. If you have a wooden deck, a regular deck cleaner may do. For a composite deck, you may need to use a cleaner formulated for the material. In some cases, you may need to use a degreaser to clean out hard-to-remove oil stains and grease. A vinyl deck would only need a mild detergent and warm water to clean out the dirt.
Pro Tip: When cleaning your deck, do so when the weather is a bit cloudy. When it is too hot, the sunlight may only evaporate the cleanser before it actually does its job of removing dirt.
After a thorough wash, start removing all the debris. Make sure that you get everything in between the deck boards. If necessary, you may use a putty knife to access hard-to-reach areas. Pay careful attention to the joists and get through the crevice so you don’t miss out on anything. If you have potted plants on your deck, you may need to remove them to make sure that you can also remove all the items underneath the pots. If you plan on adding them back again later, consider using a pot tray so all debris will be collected on the tray, especially when you are watering your plants.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned and removed the dirt from your deck, don’t forget to seal it. Ideally, you should wait at least 48 hours to do the sealing. This way, you can be sure that the cleanser has been completely absorbed and that it would work its wonder on your deck. Before sealing, make sure that you sand the deck. Use at least 80-grit sandpaper to eliminate all the fluffiness from the washing you did.
Before you seal, remember to remove or replace all screws and nails that may be popping out. Once everything is clear, you may start sealing. When sealing, make sure that you don’t let it dry out or puddle on your deck. If unsure, apply two thin coats of sealer.
The work doesn’t end once you’ve sealed your deck. You have to make sure that you are regularly clean and check your deck intermittently. One of the key things that you should note would be signs of rot, particularly in the joists and ledger. When these areas have signs of damage, it can mean that the structural integrity is compromised and you may need to perform the immediate repair.
Now that you know these tips, follow them, and you’ll have a nice deck to spend your time with your family this summer.