Wooden decks can take a whole lot of abuse over their lives. They are constantly exposed to sunlight and rain, they generally get a lot of foot traffic and they are generally more vulnerable to the elements than any other type of wooden structure. This means it’s important to take certain steps to keep your decks looking great for years to come.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain your wood decks in Fort Collins, CO:
- Keep it clear: In general, you want to make sure your deck is kept clear of anything that could catch moisture or mar the surface. If you have flower planters on your deck, for example, you should make sure to put them on cement blocks or somehow raise them off the ground so those planters do not trap dirt or moisture on top of the deck. Make sure you sweep your deck on a regular basis to prevent buildup of leaves and dirt, which can also trap moisture or stain the surface. Finally, during the winter, make sure to shovel the snow off your deck, just so you can be sure its moisture does not seep into the deck when it finally starts to melt.
- Regularly clean and seal your deck: Every two or three years, you should have a professional come and clean or seal your deck to ensure it’s protected against the sun and rain. If you decide to do the job yourself, you will most likely need to do this once a year, as you do not have the same sort of expertise and equipment as a professional, so it makes the most sense to just hire a professional to do it. Sealing your deck protects it against moisture, which can cause the wood to swell, as well as from the sun, which can cause the wood to shrink. Repeated swelling and singing can cause the wood to bend, warp, crack and age quickly.
- Do not paint or apply solid stain: You should never paint or stain your deck with a solid type of stain. Eventually these types of finishes will peel, which means they require significantly more maintenance to keep looking good. Your best bet is to use an oil-based stain, because they have the dual benefits of protecting your deck while aging naturally and gradually.
- Make repairs as soon as you can: If you see boards beginning to rot, you should make these repairs as quickly as possible so you can avoid having to replace the entire deck. You should also engage in regular maintenance, even when significant repairs are not necessary. This could include tightening loose boards and checking the integrity of your railings.
- Protect the deck from grease: If you grill on your deck, make sure you have a grease catcher or a cement slab on which you place your grill. Grease stains are extremely difficult to remove from a deck and can become very unsightly very quickly.
For more information about maintaining and repairing wood decks in Fort Collins, CO, contact our team today at TNT Home Improvements.