Installing a deck on your home expands the usable space of the property and serves as a huge “Wow!” feature. However, decks can be done wrong. If your deck is poorly constructed or poorly maintained, it has a negative impact on the home’s first impression. In fact, if your deck is structurally unsafe, it’s more than just a visual problem. Someone could get hurt.
We want you to have only the best of deck experiences, so we’ve put together a deck owner’s guide.
Three Simple Rules for Owning a Deck
- Make sure your deck is sealed.
If you are a DIYer, you might think that building a deck isn’t so hard, right? Just some 4X4s for support and some 2X4s for a floor, am I right? However, the only way that your deck is impervious from termites, carpenter ants, decay and rot, mold and mildew, and all the other things that happens to a natural material like wood, is if there is a sealant over every inch of your wood. No we aren’t just talking about a stain that says it is also a sealant. A deck withstands far more wear and tear than your average piece of furniture. You need to seal it with a polyurethane that is specifically meant for sealing your deck. Also, after your deck is properly sealed, read the manufacturers instructions as to how long the sealant lasts and how often you need to reseal it.
We’ll throw this in for free: rather than using a natural wood, your deck will fare better for a lot longer with a composite material that is specifically designed for decks. This type of wood looks just as nice as a natural wood, but continues looking nice for the long haul. Most deck kits are made of composite wood for this reason.
- Schedule deck cleaning services.
We should put an asterisk by this point, because it isn’t technically required to use deck cleaning services. It is, however, required, to service your deck at least once a year. The wood your deck is made of is a porous material. Even if you seal it, the strength of the wood weakens over time. You need to thoroughly clean a painted deck to remove any residue that builds to prevent mold and mildew and rotting of your deck. If that sounds like a big ol’ buzzkill, than do yourself a favor and use deck cleaning services. When you hire professional deck cleaning services, it’s not your problem. You know that your deck is going to be properly cleaned so that it will look just as beautiful as it did the day you brought it home from the hospital, and will continue to offer the structural support to serve as your go-to for outdoor dinners and parties and relaxing Sundays with a news paper.
We know what you’re thinking. How much? But deck cleaning solutions are not as expensive as you’d assume. And definitely less expensive than the cost of tearing down your beloved deck and replacing it because you didn’t take care of it adequately.
- Watch where that water goes.
The biggest culprit standing between you and maintaining your beautiful deck for as long as you live in your home is rain. Water might be the thing that binds all human life, but it has a very negative impact on your deck. Every inch of rain that you get amounts to nearly 2,000 gallons of water that the roof of your home has to drain. If that water drains onto your deck, your deck will take a beating and will not stand the test of time.
To avoid rain water compromising the integrity of your deck, you need to make sure your rain gutters are properly equipped to usher the water away from the deck. Since your gutter installation likely took place when your home was built, and your deck installation might have been an add-on at a later date, you might need to add new gutters around the areas in which your deck is attached, to ensure that the rain is whisked away from the deck and into the proper water drainage system.
Do you have any other questions? Please share in the comment section below.