How to Maintain a Wood Deck

For homeowners who have put a lot of thought, work, and sweat into building a new deck, keeping things clean and orderly can be a huge point of pride. But when it comes to doing the routine maintenance that a new deck requires, it’s easy to get something wrong, especially if you’re working with wood. Getting that perfect, weatherproof shine can be a tricky task, but if you want your wood deck to stay looking great through every season, you’ll want to put in the extra work. If you’re looking for information on how to maintain Replacement Decks or are simply trying to find a way to fix your deck currently, here are some handy tips.

Use a Deck Cleaner

For regular maintenance on your wood deck, the best tool you can spend your money on is a deck cleaner. While it might seem odd to splurge on a cleaner that can only be used on one very specific type of service, it will help you out in the long run. Deck cleaners aren’t just great for getting grime and dirt off of your deck’s exterior in a gentle way. They also help out when it comes to preventing that grime from building up over time. Before you purchase your cleaner, you’ll want to do a bit of research to make sure all the materials used won’t strip your wood or end up harming its fibers.

There are a few tried and true brands that should be able to get the job done without hurting your wallet. Many different varieties focus on different concerns. For instance, if you’re dealing with older wood, you may want something stronger that targets dullness and brightens up your deck’s appearance. If you’re interested in preventing graying, grime, and other natural byproducts of age and moisture, you might want to purchase something that specifically goes after these concerns.

Sweep Away All Debris

Before treating your deck, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with the smoothest possible surface. That means taking the time to sweep and remove all excess dirt, leaves, and anything else that could get in the way of your deck receiving a truly thorough clean. Even if you’ve already done a thorough sweeping job beforehand, going through one more time with a finer broom or brush will help even out the surface of your deck so that a deck cleaner will be able to more efficiently do its job. If your cleaner of choice has to contend with tons of dirt on the surface, it won’t be as effective at giving your deck that healthy shine. After you’ve gone over your deck a few times to make sure all the debris has been removed, you can start preparing to apply your cleaner.

Use a Roller to Set It

Deck cleaners are fast working and don’t take a long time to produce visible results for your deck. However, when applying your cleaner, you’ll need to be thorough and diligent in order to avoid getting a streaky or spotty result. Using a brush, roller, or sprayer, set an even coat of your cleaner onto the deck’s floor and wherever else you want to treat dirt buildup or potential graying. If there are areas that are more consistently exposed to water and weather, you’ll want to apply a bit of a thicker coat. You also might want to leave your cleaner sitting for longer than the recommended 15 to 20 minutes on these areas so that the cleaner can really soak in and do the best possible job. After you’d done waiting for the coat to set, spray all over your deck to rinse off the cleaner. Again, this is a job that’s best done carefully, since you’re looking to avoid a streaky, uneven finish.

Try a Wood Preservative or Stain

After you’ve rinsed off your deck, you can go the extra mile and apply a coat that’s going to go a long way toward preserving your deck’s newly-clean exterior. If you want to protect your deck against graying, using a colored wood stain is a great way to arm your wood against changing color. If you’re using a clear preservative, make sure it contains UV protection for better year-round coverage. Using a wood preservative or wood stain, coat the deck thoroughly with a roller or brush. For best results, wait a few days after your initial cleaning to apply your preservative. You’ll want to suit up for this step, since preservative and wood stain can end up being quite messy. If you really want to make sure you don’t get it all over the place, consider laying down a tarp for a cleaner job.

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