A wood deck is a big investment that increases the value of your home and gives it visual appeal. Having said that, even the most well-constructed deck can begin to look shabby after a couple of years if it’s not taken care of properly.
Caring for any outdoor installation is a continuous process, so follow the tips outlined below to keep your wood deck looking good for as long as possible.
Do a Water Test
Your deck’s sealant has an expiration date. What that date is, however, isn’t an exact science. You should test the wood a few times a year to make sure the sealant is still doing its job.
Simply spray some water on it and watch what happens to the water. If it soaks into the wood, it’s time to reseal. If the water beads up, the sealant is good for another few months.
Clean Before Sealing
When it’s time to reseal your deck, make sure it is as clean as possible before starting. Not only does a sealer help protect the wood from rot, but it also protects it from stains as well.
Use a cleaner designed for wood to remove obvious surface dirt and then sand the deck lightly to prepare it for staining and/or sealing.
Use a Deck Brightener
If your deck is particularly weathered, apply a deck brightener to breathe new life into it. This step is done after you have cleaned the deck and it has dried completely.
Seal your Deck
Sealing your deck is easy, but it requires at least two full days of dry weather to complete. Purchase a stain/sealer that repels water and resists fading. Apply a thin, even coat using a roller for the big areas and a paintbrush in corners and other areas where the roller can’t reach. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next and let stain-soaked rags dry completely in the sun before throwing them in the garbage.
Keep Up with Maintenance
Applying a quality sealant will protect your deck for a long time, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect regular maintenance during that time. Periodically clean your deck of surface dirt and stains and conduct a water test to spot issues before they become big problems. Repair any issues as soon as possible to prevent more serious, expensive problems from occurring.
Enlist Professional Help
For the do-it-yourselfer, caring for a wood deck is an easy task. If you aren’t sure what to use or don’t have the time to do it yourself, however, enlisting the help of a professional can save you considerable time and money.
A wood deck is a big investment that adds value to your home and gives you a nice place to enjoy your outdoor space. To keep it looking great, follow the tips above, or hire a professional.