The elements can be unforgiving. Anything that has regular exposure to them is bound to break down over time. Decks are a prime example of this. Starting out beautiful, decks tend to dry out, fade and even rot over time.
With regular maintenance, however, you can ensure your deck will be beautiful and last for years to come.
What is the Current Condition of Your Deck?
How much work, time and materials you’ll need ultimately depends upon what condition your deck is currently in. If it’s a newly installed deck that has been pressure treated and sealed, it will need significantly less attention.
Old, Dull and Grey
Before you can apply stains, UV shields, clear coats, etc. to old worn out decks, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. This actually applies to a deck in any condition, but it is especially true for decks in true disrepair.
Before purchasing any materials or clearing time in your schedule to treat your deck, conduct a thorough analysis of your deck to see if there are signs of rot. As any extensive rot can cause structural damage and is a potential safety hazard.
Staining the Deck
Not a fan of the natural wood color of your deck? You’re not alone. If you’re planning on staining and preserving your deck, it is important that you stain the deck first so that it can properly adhere to the wood.
Before applying the stain to your deck, be sure to thoroughly clean the deck with a pressure washer to blast away any dirt and grime. Alternatively, you can opt for a water hose and a scrub brush on an extended handle. If you choose to go with the pressure washer, it is important to keep the pressure stream moving or the wood can become damaged or gouged. Let the deck dry thoroughly overnight to ensure that the stain will adhere.
Preserving the Deck
As we mentioned before, the sun can be completely unforgiving and not applying a UV preservative to your deck will ensure that your deck will dry out and fade much sooner. Since maintaining a beautiful deck can be such a labor-intensive process, do more work up front so you won’t have to address it again for couple more years.
Whether you’re applying a stain or a preservative, be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear. Once you are sure that the deck is completely dry, apply the stain or preservative with a brush or a roller.
Let the first coat set in for 20 minutes. Apply the second coat to make sure the stain or preservative is evenly applied and that you’ve got good coverage. Although it won’t be long before deck is dry to the touch, allow 2 full days for the wood to completely absorb the stain or preservative and dry up before placing furniture or walking on the deck.
Don’t neglect your deck. The longer you leave it to the elements, the more work and money it will take in the long run to restore it or in some cases, replace it. Regular maintenance on your deck is the way to go.