Home Tip Tuesday: Deck Maintenance

Keep your deck looking it's best with seasonal maintenance.

Long, pleasant summer nights make it easy for renters and homeowners to happily pass away many an evening on their decks. Yet with heavy use comes the potential for wear and tear. If you have a deck, learn how to keep it looking its best year after year with regular deck maintenance. 

Clean the deck 
The first step to do, especially after a fall and winter where leaves, dirt, debris, and snow got on your deck, is to thoroughly clean decking. First, move all deck furniture and sweep the deck. Otherwise, you are just grinding dirt into the deck. Once your deck is thoroughly clean, use an appropriate cleaner. This will depend on the material your deck is made from. Apply the cleaner following the instructions on the product. Rinse the deck with cool water until all traces of the cleaner are gone. After you clean the deck, allow it to dry fully. This may take a couple of days.

If your deck is stained or has mold or mildew, consider pressure washing it to remove the heavy stains. If you do not have a pressure washer, rent one from your local home improvement center. 

Seal the deck 
If your deck is wood, you will need to seal it to protect the wood. Choose a clear or colored sealer. Sand the deck lightly to remove any splinters in the wood, and then apply deck sealer using a paint roller. 

Check all parts of the deck 
Check out the deck at least once a year, looking for signs of rot or damage. Press into the wood using a flat screwdriver. If the screwdriver penetrates the wood, it's rotten. Rotten wood should be replaced for your safety. Also check the railing to make sure that all spindles are secure. Look at deck nails or screws and replace any that are missing. If deck nails pop up, tap them down using a hammer. 

If you find structural problems in the deck, either repair them yourself or hire a handyman to do this for you. 

Trim shrubs and bushes away from the deck 
Your deck will last longer and require less maintenance if trees and shrubs are not overhanging it. Trim back trees and shrubs so they are at least 1 foot away from the deck. This will help keep rot, mold, and mildew at bay.

After you have done all this maintenance work, your deck is ready to go for the season. 

By incorporating deck maintenance into your spring yard cleanups or your summer lawn maintenance, you can ensure that the regular maintenance gets done and your deck never looks neglected. For more home and garden tips please visit homechanneltv.com

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