Proper Deck Maintenance – Clean First
Before doing any deck maintenance or making any repairs to the deck, remove dirt with a pressure washer. Be sure to keep the pressure stream moving. Otherwise, you could gouge the wood. Allow the deck to dry for 24 hours before applying any stains or sealers.
Proper Deck Maintenance – Make Repairs
Any loose nails should be driven down or removed and replaced, preferably with deck screws. If you find a board that’s split or damaged, replace it with like decking. You may be able to replace just the damaged portion of the board as long as you can securely attach the new board to the joists below, or you may find it easier to replace the entire board.
Proper Deck Maintenance – Stain and Seal
Even though pressure-treated lumber resists insects and decay, it’s still vulnerable to moisture and the sun’s rays. To preserve it without changing the color, use s clear wood preservative that contains a UV protector, which will bring new life to the surface while protecting it from the elements. If you want to add color, use an exterior stain first. Exterior stains come in both solid and semi-transparent finishes. Always use the semi-transparent for the decking area, but try a solid color if you want to highlight railings or banisters; it ends up looking like a painted finish. Exterior stains are available in oil or latex, and both resist fading and mildew.
Be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves when applying a preservative or stain. Let the product sit on the wood decking for about 20 minutes so that it has time to penetrate, and then go back over the surface with a brush to give the deck a more even finish. Apply a second coat for good coverage and protection. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines, as products may vary. Allow the deck to dry for 48 hours, and then apply a sealant. With proper deck maintenance your deck will add value to your home, serve you well, and look beautiful for many years.