Deck Renovation and Maintenance
Photo Courtesy of Mosby Building Arts
Decks have become a staple in households all over the country and many families use them to host a number of events…ranging from BBQs to swimming parties. Unfortunately, that also means your deck needs upkeep in order to keep from splintering or falling apart.
If you have a deck, you know better than anyone your deck takes a lot of abuse. Not only from foot traffic, but from sunlight and weather too. That’s why the web staff here at Toolbarn have come up with these simple tips to keep your deck healthy and looking great!
Wash Your Deck!
Photo Courtesy of Simply Clean Wash
Before you begin any repair work, it’s important to wash your deck. This removes debris, wood chips, leaves and any other material that shouldn’t be there. It’s a good idea to use a pressure washer when cleaning. If you do, just remember to keep the pressure stream moving. Otherwise it could gouge the wood. After that’s done, let your deck dry overnight.
Look For Wood Rot
Photo Courtesy of 02038
Before any renovation occurs, look closely at your deck boards. See if there is any mold, mildew or other sort of fungus. Even if your deck is treated, the wood can still rot. Pay extra attention to the posts near the ground…especially if you have a second story deck. If you see mold on the boards, it will have to be replaced. If you see it on more than one of the support posts, it’s time for a new deck.
Photo Courtesy of Outside Concepts
If you have nails sticking from one or several of your deck boards, it’s time to replace the nails. DO NOT HAMMER THEM BACK IN! Use a claw hammer to pull the nail from the board. Next, get a nail or deck screw that is longer than the nail you pulled out to reattach the board. Not only will it make your deck look a lot better, but it will make you and your family safer.
Split or Cracked Boards
Photo Courtesy of Ask The Builder
It’s also a good idea to check the deck for cracked or split deck boards. Cracked/split boards or warped boards are the beginning of what could be a large problem if you allow it to go unchecked. First, you can stain it again to see if it prevents further cracking. If that doesn’t work, you may have to replace the boards. Also, check to see if any boards are starting to bow. This also includes the railing, posts, sills and joists. If a board is badly warped and you put a lot of weight on it, well…you can see where it would go wrong. If you see any of those signs, don’t wait. Once again, replace the boards.
Stain Your Deck
Photo Courtesy of Extreme How To Blog
Protecting boards from people is one thing. It’s another to protect it from nature and more importantly, the sun. That’s why it’s vital to stain your deck to protect it from UV rays. This avoids discoloration and also extends your deck’s lifespan. If you’re unsure whether your deck needs staining, take a couple drops of water and pour them onto your deck. If it soaks in, you need a new coat of stain.
Photo Courtesy of Helms Mountain Hideaway
And there you have it! If there is a problem, take care of it quickly. As long as you inspect your deck every year or two, you’ll have a long lasting deck to hold all your family functions or enjoy the great outdoors.