Deck Maintenance Tips

Best Things To Do for Deck Maintenance

Lightly Sand Before Sealing

Sanding your deck before sealing smooths out the surface of the wood to ensure an even application of sealant. It also means the sealant will be better absorbed into the wood. Your choice of sealant, stain or paint will depend on the wood type of your deck and the level of protection needed, but all kinds of sealing should only be done after sanding. 

After washing, let your deck dry for at least 48 hours before applying sealant. Use a pole sander and 80 grit sandpaper, and avoid using a power sander. Always wear safety glasses and a dust mask when sanding.

Annual Deep Clean

Annual deck maintenance is a vital step in removing mould, mildew and dirt, and keeping your deck in good shape for years to come. Start by sweeping your deck to remove any debris, paying particular attention to the gaps where deck boards. Use a putty knife or stiff brush to ensure no debris is left behind. Next, apply a deck cleaning solution using a sprayer or roller brush. Deck cleaner is usually more effective on a wet deck, so try to work on smaller areas to avoid the wood from drying and the deck cleaner being applied in patches. Avoid cleaning your deck on a very hot day, to avoid fast drying.

Routine Care

If you look after your deck all year round, you can easily avoid problems like water or sun damage. Try moving your deck furniture, decor, or pot plants around to avoid water patches forming underneath them. You can also avoid placing mats made of natural materials on your deck, as they can also trap moisture. 

By keeping your deck clean and giving it a good sweep regularly, you can also help prevent moisture and dirt build up. If your deck needs a good clean, you can use soapy water to quickly scrub down your deck. Routine cleaning and checking regularly for mould or damage will also make your annual deck maintenance a lot easier.

Fix Damage

Check your deck regularly for any damage. Look out for small issues like protruding nails, rotten decking boards or splintering, and fix them straight away with wood screws or exterior wood filler. Make sure you also keep an eye out for bigger issues, like rust or warped wood on any deck boards. You may be able to fix these issues with cleaning or sanding, or you may need to replace some of the wood on your deck.

For a thorough inspection, pay special attention to railings, the places where your deck connects to the building, and where any stairs connect to the ground. Try to push on the decking timber to test the strength of those areas.

Worst Things To Do for Deck Maintenance

Don't Overuse Your Pressure Washer

While power washers may look like a good choice to get your annual deck maintenance done faster, they can actually do damage to your timber deck. They can gouge the wood, causing holes, or strip away protective layers of sealant. 

If you do want to use your power washer, follow these deck care and maintenance tips. Use your washer on the lowest power setting, and use a fan spray nozzle. Always keep the nozzle moving while the washer is spraying.

Don't Use The Wrong Sealant

Don’t use regular paint or any sealants not designed specifically for decks. The type of sealant you use during deck maintenance will depend on the kind of finish you want and the type of wood deck you are sealing. Sealants can be clear, tinted, semi-transparent, or opaque. Deck stains or paints may work for you, as they provide different levels of protection and create different looks. 

Consider the climate and weather that your deck is exposed to. A deck that will endure ocean winds or splashes from your swimming pool require a more protective sealant. Likewise, very cold, snowy, or very humid weather will require protection from constant moisture.

Don't Use The Wrong Chemicals

Avoid getting harsh chemicals like pure bleach or chlorine on your deck. These chemicals can strip your deck of its natural colours and can penetrate into the wood to weaken and warp it. They can also damage any plant life on or around your deck. Any cleaning products that contain acid or lye should also be avoided, as they too can eat away at the protective sealants on your deck. 

Always check the labels of any cleaning products you use to ensure they contain chemicals that are appropriate for your deck’s wood type. Safer options like oxygen bleach can be used on some decks, but are safe for all decks.

Don't Let Leaves and Debris Accumulate

Keeping leaves, branches, and other debris off your deck is not only visually appealing – it will also help keep your deck looking good for years to come. A buildup of natural debris can cause mould and moss growth, and encourage water damage. These issues not only look bad, but can leave your deck structurally unstable. Leaving plant matter to sit on your deck can also cause staining. As leaves and branches decay, they release tannins which can leave permanent marks on wooden surfaces. Regularly sweep your deck with a stiff broom, to avoid any damage or long term issues caused by accumulating leaves and other debris.

The ProGroup Can Help With Deck Repairs

Has your deck seen better days? Looking for more deck care and maintenance tips? Even if your deck hasn’t received that essential routine maintenance, there’s no need to panic. Deck&FencePro can revive even the most neglected deck and fence, and have them looking good as new in no time. Let our expert specialists revive or maintain your decks and fences using specially formulated sealants and cleaners. 

Sun or moisture damage, structural damage, or just regular wear and tear – nothing is too tough for Deck&FencePro. For more information about repairs and maintenance, learn about ProGroup’s deck restoration service. Whether you are selling your home or just looking to get your outdoor entertainment areas looking as good as new, ProGroup is here to help.

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  • Should I use oil or water-based deck stains?

    Water based deck stain is effectively very thin acrylic paint, so thin you can see though it. The problem with it is that it clogs up the pores of the timber making it extremely difficult to maintain because the old residue is virtually impossible to remove. We use good quality oil based wood stain that nourishes the timber and can be recoated time and time again.

  • Why does my kwila deck have splinters?

    Hardwoods such as kwila come from tropical climates that have a lot of moisture in the air. New Zealand’s harsh climate and intense sun quickly dries out the timber causing it to splinter. There is very little that can be done to remedy this, and kwila is becoming less popular as a decking timber.

  • Do you use a waterblaster to pre-clean the timber?

    We use a specialist eco-friendly solution to loosen dirt, contaminants, and dead timber cells followed by a controlled pressure wash to sluice this residue away. Our team are very skilled at this process. Using a waterblaster alone can damage the surface of the timber because the water jet needs to be very close to the timber to have any effect.

  • How do I maintain my restored deck, fence, or furniture?

    A wood stain generally requires a top up coat every 12-18 months to replenish the nourishing oils and UV blockers. We can arrange an on-going maintenance schedule with you following the restoration process that will include a light clean followed by a recoat of the wood stain. In between scheduled maintenance, a mild detergent is all that is needed to remove any bird droppings or spills, and a spray with a moss and lichen inhibitor during winter can also help. It is important to not use harsh deck cleaning agents that may remove the oils contained in the stain. Painted surfaces generally last longer than stained ones but are more susceptible to abrasion.

Book a quote now

For any enquiries regarding your outdoor living spaces, or to request a quote, please enter your details and your local Deck&FencePro franchisee will be in touch to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

If you prefer not to give a full address at this stage feel free to book a quote by phone at the free phone number below.

0508 422 532

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