How Do You Take Care Of A New Wood Deck?
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To maximize your investment, you want your new wood deck to last as long as possible. On average, a well-maintained wood deck will last around 15 years. So, to get the longest service out of your wooden deck, you must maintain it well.
Remember too that your deck will not only add value to your property if it is well-maintained. Without proper maintenance, your wood deck will discolor, warp, or rot, after which it may even become a safety hazard.
Regular maintenance allows you to pick structural issues before they set in, which helps to forestall repairs and keep your deck’s lifetime costs on the low side.
How to maintain a new wood deck?
Moisture, from rain and snow, as well as excessive sunlight, can all wear down your wooden deck.
The best way to maintain your new deck and protect your investment is to establish a maintenance schedule straight away. A good schedule sets intervals for cleaning, inspecting, resealing, and repairing.
Regular cleaning is the best maintenance of wood decks
Most wooden deck issues can be fixed by regular cleaning. For an outdoor structure, there will likely be a lot of leaves and debris that blow onto your deck.
To keep it looking its best and prevent any discoloration, especially during the rainy season, you should clean your deck at least once a week. Take care to remove any dirt that lodges between boards and to clean well into the corners.
You want to keep your deck clear of dead leaves especially in the corners where a bit of moisture and warmth can cause rot, which will destabilize the whole deck. As you clean your deck, make sure to move around any furniture and planters to prevent discoloration.
At least once a year, it is recommended that you power-wash your deck to remove stubborn dirt and stains that will have built up through the seasons.
Resealing ensures your wood deck remains waterproof
Ontario’s climate is characterized by long winters and humid summers. These are not ideal conditions for wooden structures. Snow releases moisture that causes wood to expand, especially if it is not well protected with a seal. And when the temperatures warm the wood dries and shrinks down, causing cracking and warping.
As the wood cracks, the seal will start to peel off. This leaves your deck is unprotected, exposing it to moisture damage and sun bleaching.
A good way to see if your wood deck is still protected from moisture is to splash water on it. If the water beads up, your deck is still fairly waterproof. If it absorbs into the wood, the deck needs urgent resealing.
Generally, apply a new seal after every power-wash. The power-wash itself can strip the wood of its protective coating. But before applying a seal, make sure the deck is completely dry.
Resealing should waterproof the deck and protect it from the ensued wet seasons.
Regular inspection and repair will prolong your deck’s lifespan
Even with the best maintenance, your wood deck will start to show signs of wear. There are also structural weaknesses that aren’t as easy to spot. For these, you should inspect your deck at least once a year.
Do not wait to inspect your deck until it is a few years old. Start right from the first year to catch issues early. Loose nails and screws and even heavy traffic on specific sections of the deck can all mean a deck isn’t as structurally sound as it looks.
As you inspect your deck, pay special attention to the ledger, joists, posts, and beams to pick any signs of rot. As it can be dark underneath the deck, use a flashlight to inspect it more thoroughly.
The ledger is a critical part of the deck that can cause it to collapse if it rots. Check for rot from moisture that turns to sip through from the siding. Also, inspect areas around your planters, under the gutters and downspouts, and any other areas susceptible to moisture damage.
Check the boards and railings too and make sure nothing is rusted and that all nails and screws are firmly in place. Replace any broken boards and rusted nails and hardware.
Maintaining your wood deck to preserve its looks and ensure its structural stability can be a labor of love. But it is crucial if you are to get the best enjoyment and the longest service life from it.