In our opinion, decking is one of the most awesome ideas they have thought of; this home addition provides a warm and inviting connection with the outdoors that surround your home, it also allows you to set the stage for an endless outdoor activities and events. Clean, restore and protect are probably the words you always hear when a flooring specialist explains to you the importance of keeping any of your home’s surfaces looking attractive in the long term.
How- to tips on decking treatment and maintenance
Since decks take a lot of abuse as they face a lot of foot traffic, and they are also exposed to the elements during the year; after a few years and without proper care, decks become green, grimy, slippery and full of dirty, which make them uninviting areas. For these reasons, it is a great idea to establish a simple maintenance plan that will both protect your deck and avoid you expensive repairs in the future.
Wash the deck
- To do this you need first to remove debris from between deck boards, paying special attention to the areas where these deck boards cross the joists.
- Now it is time to thoroughly sweep the deck.
- Opt for an appropriate deck cleanser, preferably a standard one and follow its directions.
- Choose a cloud day to clean the deck, because it will be cool and sun will not evaporate the cleaner. Wood deck requires whether a paint roller or a garden sprayer to rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Before sealing your deck; let it properly dry, two days will be enough.
Sealing your deck
As we have mentioned, two day period will be suitable to start the sealing process, choose a day with clear skies and adequate temperatures.
- Using a pole sander with 80- grit paper, remove any furriness caused by the washing stage.
- Nails and screws time!
- Replace protruding nails by using proper deck screws, the ones that are slightly longer than the nail will be excellent.
- By using a roller, you can now apply the sealer or stain you have selected. The idea of using a roller is to cover three or four boards at a time, and then you can use brushes or small rollers for railings, planters and benches; two thin coats will work better than one thick one, so do not let stain or sealer dry until you have applied two coats.
- Check and repair your deck
This is a task you can do in the midsummer, when weather is warm and dry.
Look for signs of rot
Start this activity by checking stairs, and then inspect each perimeter post. Another good idea is to probe structural members with a flat blade screwdriver; if you can push the screwdriver a quarter inch or more into a suspect area, this will be a sign that you probably have rot.
Inspect the ledger
The ledger should be attached with lag screws and not just nails. So using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay attention to the ledger, because it is the most important piece of framing which attaches the deck to the house, so imagine how dangerous will be if a damaged ledger is not well attached, this is the cause of 99% of all deck collapses.
Remaining joists, posts and beams must be checked
Inspect and probe for signs of rot on the hardware of your deck, if you have some doubts about something while inspecting, give a pro a call in order to have information about any needed repair.
By giving it a good shake you will be sure posts are not loose or damaged. You also need looking for cracks that may have developed around fasteners over time, such as nails or screws. A suggestion to solve this will be removing the fastener and seal the crack with an exterior- grade adhesive.
- Move planters, chairs and tables often, in order to avoid discoloring your wood decking.
- Try to have gutters and downspouts in good repair.
- Do not allow leaves or any other debris pile up in corners.
Products and tools that care for your decking
Once you have reached your home decking project you will probably feel proud of it, and to keep this feeling in the long term it is important to protect and maintain this home improvement; among the options there are available to accomplish that, we have selected some really useful products and tools that will take care of your decking:
Wood stains, varnishes and oils
When choosing the right one for your deck, be sure that you are taking into consideration that this is a decision on how to protect your wood deck rather than thinking about style.
Exterior paint, stains and varnishes
These products can be found in an incredible range of colors, providing your deck with a unique natural look. Another great aspect is that the specialist decking paints perform at their best in small cracks and lock down splinters while they are coloring and protecting your weathered deck; by using them you will notice a dramatic makeovers instantly.
There are also many other elements that you will need when executing your decking treatment project, the following are some of the most useful we would like to mention:
- Brushes, rollers and pads.
- Paint sprayers.
- Pressure washers.
- Watering, hoses and ponds.
- Brooms, heads and handles.
- Decking screws
Additionally, in FinishBuild we would like to highlight the importance of taking the recommended safety measures such as: appropriate workwear, footwear, gloves and helmets when needed and so on; in order to perform a wood decking treatment project as safe as possible.
An untreated deck is without a doubt and invitation to mold and mildew, this can cause rot and this is something you certainly would like to avoid; that is why in FinishBuild, we consider it is important to treat and maintain your decking because most wood deck surface problems are cosmetic and fortunately not structural, so by having these ideas and solutions in mind you will surely protect the result of a big and rewarding home addition.
Deck design is a very personal project, keep it clean…you start, we Finish!