Deck care and maintenance tips: Where do you start?
A deck not only is a wonderful new addition to your home, but it also adds a significant boost to your property value. However, because your deck is subject to the elements, regular maintenance and cleaning is required to ensure your deck remains in good shape. But if you’ve never owned a deck before, it might be tricky to known where to start. You may have noticed that your deck doesn’t have the same shine it once did, or that the wood has started to chip or peel. Or maybe you’ve purchased your deck but aren’t sure how to protect it from the harsh Australian climate. Not to worry, we’ve compiled all the deck care and maintenance tips you need to know to ensure your deck lasts a lifetime.
Deck care and maintenance tips
Regularly clear the area
Over time, your deck can accumulate debris in between the decking board to combat this, it’s advised that you sweep your deck weekly, taking particular attention to removing bits of leaves and dirt that may have gotten snuck in the decking boards. If debris is left too long in the decking boards it can start to decompose, which can cause an acidic reaction to your wooden decking boards. When clearing your deck, make sure to inspect your deck for damages such as decking board erosion or wood rot.
Deck cleaning tips: Use a rubber knife to clear out the debris between your decking boards.
Use a scrub or pressure washer
Though a slightly more labour-intensive task, getting out the scrub and bucket is a good way to clear dried up muck from your decking boards. Remember not to use any harsh chemicals or detergents as it may bleach the wood or cause it to erode. You can use a mild detergent or purchase a speciality wood deck cleaner. Or for a quicker job you can use a pressure washer to remove deeply embedded dirt. However, if used too aggressively a strong pressure washer can potentially blast off natural oils or the stain finish.
Deck cleaning tips: Scrubbing a deck is preferred to pressure washing as there’s less room for error, but pressure washing is a good option for combatting stubborn dirt.
Coat your deck
Your deck is subject to the harsh rays of Australian sunlight, which can cause the colour to fade in time. It’s advised that you stain or oil your deck at least twice a year in order to keep it looking good all year round. Regularly staining or oiling your deck will not only enhance its colour but minimise the chances of wood deteriorating.
Deck maintenance tips: Not all deck oils and stains are the same, so spend a little extra money getting oils/stains that protect against UV rays and offer moisture barrier protection.
Seal your deck
After you’ve cleaned your deck, applying a sealer will ensure your deck is protected from water damage. A good way to see if your deck needs sealer is to conduct a simple water test – if you flick water on your deck and you can see bubbles, your sealer is still intact. If not, it means it’s time for a new coat. Of all the deck care and maintenance tips, using sealant is one of the most important as it helps protect all your hard work from the harsh elements.
Deck maintenance tips: Sealing is advised if you’ve used an oil to coat your deck, as deck stains usually come with sealant properties.