When you own a wood deck, you need to be vigilant to watch out for any major signs of wear and tear, otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself dealing with costly, frustrating repairs down the line. However, many deck owners struggle to know how to optimally care for their deck. To assist them, here are seven wood deck maintenance and safety tips for 2023:
1. Remove Debris from Cracks
If you allow your deck to become covered or caked in debris, the wood and sealing you’ve spent so much money building will get greatly damaged. You need to take some time every week to check for and remove debris and plant build-up that exists in all cracks of your deck to keep your deck healthy. After all, you hired a custom deck builder to achieve your dream deck, so you need to do everything in your power to keep your investment safe.
2. Seal Your Deck
When you first built your deck, you almost certainly sealed it with a high-quality sealer. That being said, many people falsely assume that they only need to seal their deck this one time. However, this could not be further from the truth, and can seriously harm your deck’s health. Ideally, you should be replacing or updating your sealer once every few years. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to do costly, and preventable, maintenance due to your lack of taking better care of your investment.
3. Professional Pressure Wash
Pressure washing a deck is perfect for removing dirt build-up, debris, and other harmful material. Additionally, a professionally done pressure wash is guaranteed to make your deck look brand new. Even if you take care to wash your deck every week or so, a yearly pressure wash is still highly recommended. Professionals can spot problem areas that you’ll be blissfully unaware of, and can also help point out any needed maintenance to you as they perform the pressure wash.
4. Check for Mildew and Rot
Mildew and rot are two of the most harmful elements that can impact your deck’s health (and your home’s overall health) and stability. If rot and mildew get bad enough, it can cause your deck to become unstable, and even lead to a collapse. Even barring this worst-case scenario, mildew and rot will cause significant damages that will cost you a ton of money to correct. Mildew can also cause severe health issues for some people, so making sure you handle any mildew and rot problems as soon as you spot them is an absolute must for every deck owner.
5. Clean Patio Furniture
While it may seem like a no-brainer, keeping your patio furniture properly cared for and cleaned is tied directly to the health of your deck. If patio furniture becomes grimy, or is kept in the same place for months at a time, it can both stain and damage the wood on your deck. By keeping up with patio furniture cleaning, you’ll also remind yourself to do needed cleaning and maintenance on your actual deck. Creating responsible habits for yourself is key to becoming a fantastic deck owner.
6. Avoid Deck Contact with Plant Life
While contact with small potted plants is fine, you want to ensure shrubs, trees, and weeds are not becoming connected to your deck. This interaction can lead to wood rot, pest infestations, and frustrating cleanup issues that will make you want to pull your hair out. The more often you check for any plant infiltration of your deck, the better, as this will allow you to fix the issue before it ends up costing you a ton of money.
7. Keep the Deck Swept
If you want to ensure your deck remains clean and kept up enough that you can actually spot the other warning signs we’ve discussed, you need to be sweeping your deck regularly. You want to sweep at least once a week to ensure your deck is pristine, ready to use, and that it’s kept in good health. You’ve invested a lot of time, money, and emotion into making your deck look stellar, so taking the effort needed to keep it looking fantastic will benefit you in the long term.
Beautify Your Deck
Each of these seven maintenance tips will help you beautify your deck, and protect it for decades to come. With the right care and effort, you can ensure that you spend as little as humanly possible on deck maintenance in the coming years. While you’re at it, you can spend this cleaning time brainstorming fun new add-ons to your deck that can make 2023 your favorite year as a deck owner yet!