Regular seasonal maintenance for your wood deck is one way to guarantee that it will last a long time, and remain beautiful. One of the best way to make sure this happens is by maintaining an annual regimen of cleaning and sealing.
This is by far the best way to ensure a quality deck. If not, the deck can begin to warp, splinter, and crack. In some species like cedar, the color you’ll have is gray, which can look quite distinguished, if that’s your taste. But, for others, the wood can begin to take on a dated and tired look.
There are ways to bring that old deck back to life, if you want it to look like new. And there are things you should do just to make sure your deck remains to be a haven, and not a hazard. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Getting ready to preserve your wood deck
Take inventory of your wood deck before you begin the preservation process. Depending on the condition of the wood, there may need to be repairs made before preserving. Some of these repairs include:
Replacing broken off nails
If the head of the nail has broken off, this can cause injuries and hospital visits. Take a tour to make sure that there are no jagged edges present.
Replacing damaged deck boards
This is important if boards are split or warped beyond repair. Replacing damaged wood deck boards will prevent injury and tripping hazards. It’s also a means to make sure that your deck continues to look great.
Replacing or repairing weathered handrails
Handrails that are severely weathered can cause splinters and injury. For some older types of preserved wood, they contain arsenic, which is a known carcinogen. It is important to protect yourself and your family from this hazard. If sanding is necessary, it might be wise to use an industrial hand sander with a high-grit paper, and then gradually work down to a smoother paper for a finer finish. This will prevent additional splinters while preserving the piece already in place.
Spring cleaning your wood deck
The next step after taking care of the repairs is to make sure the surfaces of the deck are clean. If not, sealant can seal in oxidizing dirt that will prevent the wood from being fully protected. For hardwood wood decks, power washing is a great way to help preserve your deck as this prevents dirt, mold, moss, and seasonal debris from breaking down the wood. After power washing, old graying decks can look like new.
Sealing your wood deck
The next step is sealing your wood deck. Allow your deck to completely dry before preparing for sealant. Once dry, do one last sweep, making sure there is nothing that is hiding in corners or behind joints. Take one last assessment of the wood to make sure there are no more repairs that need to be made. At this point you should be ready to seal the deck in order to preserve it for the year.
Choosing your wood deck sealant
It is best to choose a sealant that will work for your particular climate. If you have high sun, or a lot of moisture, make sure you pick a deck sealer will protect your wood deck from these extreme elements. Also, while you are choosing your perfect wood deck sealant, this is when the springtime decorator can add some input. Many of these sealants come in an assortment of colors. Follow the instructions for the sealant for best results, and consult with your local retailer on which products work best for your specific type of wood deck.
This is a good time to pick and choose the perfect solutions for your deck. And of course, it’s a great time to start enjoying your deck, and your life outdoors this spring.