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Four Deck Maintenance Tips

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. Time to get that wood deck ready for family fun and entertaining. Here are four tips to do it right:

(1) Safety First. Before you do anything else, pound in those popped nails, replace splintered boards, and repair any unstable, rotted, or split railings, steps, or supports. Nothing ruins a summer barbecue faster than the entire party falling to the yard below when the deck gives way.

(2) Clean It Up. Experts recommend cleaning just before staining and sealing (see (3) below) and, otherwise, only when there is visible grime, mold, or mildew. Avoid cleaning too often, wire brushes, chlorine bleach, and cleaning products as they all can damage the wood. Opt for a power washer using plain water on the lowest possible effective setting. Too much water pressure can damage wood too.

(3) Stain and Seal. Every two or three years, follow up the deck cleaning with a good stain and seal. You can save yourself a step by using a combination stain/seal product that does both in one brush stroke. Don’t sand unless absolutely necessary as you’ll remove the top layer of color and need to apply three coats of finish where one refresher coat would have done just fine.

(4) Ongoing Maintenance. Periodically, and at least at the end of each season, rearrange your furniture, rugs, potted plants, and other items to allow dampness trapped underneath to dry out and avoid mildew and mold. Similarly, in the fall, remove leaves that accumulate on the deck.

Deck maintenance isn’t difficult to DIY, but it will consume the better part of your valuable weekend. There are licensed professionals who can swoop in and take care of it for you. We know the best!

Wise homeowners extend the life of their deck with regular maintenance. Now, go forth and dwell al fresco!

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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