Everything You Need To Know About Maintaining a Deck
Beautiful decks are the difference between boring backyards and thriving outdoor living spaces. However, there’s more to a deck than the design and installation process. You still need to care for your new outdoor feature to keep it in optimal condition.
Since decks are open to the elements, they experience more wear and tear than your average exterior home improvement project. Even so, the right care routine will whip your deck into shape, no matter the season.
Taking care of your outdoor living space is easy! If you want a stunning deck with minimal effort, here’s everything you need to know about maintaining a deck.
Materials Make the Deck
If you want a gorgeous deck without all of the hard work, you need to choose your decking materials wisely. Wooden decks require a lot of daily maintenance to prevent rot, warping, staining, and discoloration. Wouldn’t you rather have a deck that takes care of itself?
Mineral composite decking is perfect for hands-off homeowners. This unique material is water-, scratch-, and UV-resistant. You don’t have to worry about applying sealants or protective products; your composite decking has durability in its design.
For example, water won’t sink into its pores and cause rot or degrade your deck’s integrity. Hot summer days won’t fade your unshaded areas. Moving furniture around is painless since your materials won’t scratch or scuff; if they do, a quick buff will remove any imperfections.
Sweep For Daily Maintenance
Composite decks are all about easy maintenance. You don’t need an elaborate routine to keep things in working order. However, a daily sweep never harmed anyone; in fact, it’s the best way to keep your deck looking fresh!
Leaves, dirt, and debris easily collect in your outdoor living space, especially if your backyard is home to trees and gardens. While this clutter won’t damage your composite decking material, it doesn’t make it look very put-together. Try to get into the habit of sweeping your deck every few days, so you can enjoy a mess-free space.
Invest in a Pressure Washer
Even low-maintenance home features deserve a little TLC. Like most things in your home, your outdoor living space can benefit from an annual refresh. During your next “spring cleaning,” pencil in some time to deep clean your deck.
Pressure washers are a must-have for ultimate deck maintenance. While you don’t want to blast your deck with high-powered water every day, doing so once or twice a year is perfect for removing stubborn grime. Any lingering residue from dirt, rain, or snow will come off easily with a general power washer.
You can use good ol’ soap and water in between pressure washes. Use a soft sponge or push broom to scrub away food stains, beverage spills, or ash from your fire feature. If you clean up messes before they set, you won’t need a ton of “elbow grease” to remove them.
Get Rid of Standing Water
While composite decks are water-resistant, that doesn’t mean you should allow moisture to sit on them. Standing water can create a safety hazard; you don’t want people slipping and sliding all over your outdoor living space!
Excess moisture could also damage your metal features. Deck rails and light fixtures may form rust, which is difficult to remove and unpleasant to look at.
While your decking material is unlikely to grow mold, that’s not true for other features. Fabric furniture, pillows, rugs, and throw blankets are breeding grounds for mildew when they remain wet. Wash and dry these materials ASAP to get rid of any musty odors.
Keep Your Gaps Clear
Even bare decks can hide debris, especially in between planks. Unless you have a solid, concrete deck, your deck likely has gaps for ventilation and hardware. You don’t need to fill these spaces to prevent build-up; simply clean them out to maintain the look of your outdoor living space.
If you shade your deck with trees, you’ll likely have leaves, branches, and dirt stuck between your decking planks. This debris collects water and creates a stale smell. They may also attract creepy crawlers and critters that tear up the rest of your backyard. Fight odors, bugs, and vermin by keeping plank gaps clear.
Install a Roof For Protection
Some deck features are double-edged swords. For example, deck roofs and pergolas add aesthetic value and create privacy while protecting your outdoor living space. If you thought composite deck maintenance was simple enough, you wouldn’t believe how much easier it can be with coverage.
Deck roofs keep your space dry and temperature-controlled. You’re less likely to battle tree debris and dirt when you have a barrier between your deck and the outside world. Roofs and pergolas cut your maintenance routine in half, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time relaxing.
Furniture Maintenance is Important
Taking care of your outdoor accessories is just as important as regular deck maintenance. Your furniture and accessories are what give your space personality. Keeping them clean, dry, and updated will transform a plain deck into a unique structure.
Mold isn’t the only thing that should concern you. Broken tables and chairs look unsightly and are unsafe to use. Ripped rugs, bent umbrellas, and rusty hangings bring your overall aesthetic down. Keep the seasons in mind; some people use their decks as a holiday decor space, so decorations are always on trend.
Don’t Neglect Your Add-Ons
Add-ons are what elevate a deck to a fun, welcoming entertainment space. However, with add-ons comes a little bit of additional maintenance. Don’t let that stop you from designing your dream deck! Just create some room in your deck maintenance routine for your extra features.
For example, you’ll need to clean and restore your fire features before using them this winter. Get rid of any old ash and scrub the surrounding materials. Test your ventilation systems to make sure they’re working properly.
Replace any broken light fixtures with fresh bulbs. Repair bent or missing deck railings for safety and aesthetic purposes. Wipe your grill island and appliances down with a shine-enhancing product to make your features sparkle.
Use Kona Contractors For All of Your Deck Needs
While you might know everything you need to know to maintain a deck, having some help never hurts. Kona Contractors is here to take some of the burden off your shoulders. Our expert deck repair contractors can handle the heavy lifting to give your outdoor living space new life. Call us today to schedule a consultation, and check out our galleries for a first-hand look at what we can accomplish.