Last week our blog focused on a fun use of your deck or patio over July 4th. And after the holiday is over, we’ll highlight new ideas for cool ways to use your deck.
But today our focus is on caring for your decks — especially if they will be getting a lot of use during the height of the outdoor season.
For expert advice on deck maintenance, we spoke with Edie Kello from Viance — the company that makes the preservatives for pressure-treated lumber commonly used for deck structures.
Question: What’s your advice on how to maintain a new wood deck.
Answer: “A deck is a special part of your outdoor living space that should last for years,” says Kello. “Keep it looking its best with the right deck cleaners, sealers and stains to enhance its long-term beauty.”
“For New Wood Decks,” she continues:
•Allow the wood 6-8 weeks to dry prior to applying any sealer or stain.
•Apply a high-quality oil or water-based finish with UV protection to slow down the process of the wood turning gray from exposure to the sun.
•Apply a water repellent sealer at least every two years.
•And always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for new and re-applications.
•To provide long term aesthetic appeal, maintain a deck that is dry and clean.
•Keep your deck free from dirt and debris.
•Liquid detergents, water and a stiff bristle brush will remove most mildew and dirt.
•For hard to clean wood surfaces, use a deck brightener containing Oxalic acid to retain the wood’s natural beauty.
•Always follow the manufacturer’s mixing and application instructions.
•Never use household chloride bleaches on decks as it can cause damage to the wood fibers and fasteners.
•Care should be taken if a pressure-washer is used for cleaning decks, as excessive pressure may cause damage to your deck’s surface.
•Make sure water can drain away from the deck and there is adequate ventilation so water can evaporate to lessen mold and mildew growth.
— Edie Kello, Viance Company
But what if your deck is a composite? Well, all decks benefit from a bit of care and cleaning — even durable capped composite decks. Depending on the type of composite you have, the cleaning materials may vary. So we thought the best thing is to go right to the manufacturer’s mouth, so to speak.
Popular Composite Decking
For details on maintaining Trex decking, check out the information on their different Trex products at their website.
Here’s how to care and maintain your Fiberon deck from the manufacturer’s website’s blog.
And as for TimberTech, you can download a PDF on how to care for your TimberTech Capped Composite Decking.