Once July 4th kicks off summer entertaining, and fun in the sun, your deck gets a lot of use. Indeed, for many of us, decks and summer are the heart of the outdoor living season.
So how can you take good care of your deck during all this activity? A while ago, we spoke with Edie Kello from Viance — the company that makes the preservatives for pressure-treated lumber.
Kello answered some of the most common questions homeowners have regarding maintaining their decks:
Question: When it comes to decks, what’s your advice on maintaining them.
Answer: “A deck should last for years. Keep it looking its best with the right deck cleaners sealers and stains to ensure its long-term beauty. Here’s some tips:
For New ‘Wood’ Decks:
• 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
Of course not all decks are natural wood. What about composite materials?
Well, all decks benefit from a bit of care and cleaning — even durable capped composite decks. Depending on the type of composite you have or choose, the cleaning materials may vary. So Deck and Patio went right to the manufacturer’s mouth, so to speak and have included links where helpful:
Popular Composite Decking
This deck and pool surround was designed and built by Deck and Patio using Trex Decking. For details on maintaining your Trex deck, check out the information at their website.
This multi-level deck with pool surround included a level devoted to the family’s new portable hot tub. Here’s how to care and maintain your Fiberon deck from the manufacturer’s website’s blog.
Here Deck and Patio built another raised multi-level deck with spaces devoted to different outdoor living spaces — from dining, lounging, and barbecuing. And as for TimberTech, you can download a PDF on how to care for your TimberTech Capped Composite Decking.