How to Take Care and Maintain Your Deck
In the Lower Mainland, as much as it feels like a paradise some days, we have to remember the climate here is a temperate rainforest. That means we get rain. A lot of it. But you already know that, you live here! What does that mean for maintaining our decks?
Its best to establish routine maintenance for your deck, ensuring you get the best livability out of it while its nice out, but that you will see it last as long as possible.
This is a perfect time to wash and stain your deck. Getting rid of the mold and mildew will help keep the rot at bay.
1) Give it a good clean.
- Remove any debris from between the deck boards.
- Sweep the deck off.
- Apply the appropriate cleaner to the type of deck you have.
- Wood deck – use a stiff bristled brush, and apply the cleaner evenly to the deck surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for letting it soak in (usually 10-15 minutes) and then hose off. Do not use a pressure washer, as the high pressure can destroy the wood fibers leading to poor penetration of stain and accelerated rotting.’
- Composite decking – use a soft brush, and scrub using a manufacturer’s recommended cleaning product. Rinse off thoroughly and enjoy!
2) If there is any light maintenance to do, replacing boards, addressing missing or popped nails and screws, now is the time to do it. If you notice any rough edges or splinters beginning, take care of it now with a sanding. Our retail store has all the items you need to repair your deck.
3) Apply stain (wood decks only).
We carry a variety of stains to refinish your deck with. We recommend that unless you completely sand and strip the existing stain off your deck, it’s best to apply the same type of stain overtop of the existing stain.
Use a clear stain to allow the grain of the wood to shine through. Use a semi-transparent stain to tint the wood or for better UV protection. Solid stains are useful if your deck has been weathered in the past, or you want to match the deck to compliment another color.
Make sure the deck is dry before you begin application, and that the weather is expected to stay dry for a couple of days. Use a brush, or a roller and back brush, to evenly apply the stain. Better to have two thin coats than one really thick coat.
Inspect and repair.
In between your BBQ’s and summer get-togethers, it’s a good time to give a close inspection to your decks’ structure. The pressure treated sub-frame is the skeleton of your deck, and you want to make sure your ‘bones’ are in good shape.
1) Inspect for any signs of rot. Use a screwdriver to lightly probe the joists and beams underneath your deck boards for any signs of soft sports. Check the posts and railings to ensure there is no movement. A rotting post can give way, causing injury.
2) Look at the ledger. The ledger is a key structural member of your deck, the attachment point to your house. This should be lag bolted to your house, not just nailed. It’s important that the flashing is intact and doing its job of diverting water away from your ledger. An improperly attached ledger or rotting ledger is the most common cause of a deck collapse.
This is a good time to wash and stain your deck if you didn’t get to it in the spring. It is also worth giving your deck a rinse before putting it away for the winter.
Keep your grass, trees and bushes neatly trimmed and away from the deck. Ensure you’re sweeping off leaves or other debris regularly to prevent mold and mildew from getting started.
Move furniture or other items occasionally to avoid UV rays from only discoloring certain parts of the deck.