Have you ever been to someone’s house and their decking looks faded, battered, worn out? The owners probably haven’t been maintaining it.
It might sound like quite a task, and one that could take an entire day to sort out, but organizing your home and your life is important for having a more fulfilled life.
So putting aside some time every week to look after your decking and following some simple tips could go a long way to making your decking the envy of your friends and family, and making you feel good about yourself.
Deck Maintenance 101, Keep Your Wooden Deck Looking Brand New
Here’s what you need to know about deck maintenance.
Clean Your Deck
If you’ve gone to the trouble of building a deck, then the chances are you are going to want it to stay looking as fresh and pristine as it was when you first built it. This can’t be done without regular cleaning.
You could hire an exterior cleaning service like Labor Panes to take care of cleaning your deck for you, as well as other areas of your home.
However, you might prefer to clean the deck yourself. But cleaning it with a normal hose won’t do the trick. Remember that all wood can rot as a result of coming into contact with water.
The first stage in washing a deck is to use a leaf blower. This will clear away any lingering dirt or grit that happens to be sitting on the surface.
Then you will need to use a specific deck cleaner rather than just water. This will remove dirt, mildew, and oxidation – this is when your deck turns from brown to grey in color. You want to find a cleaner that contains sodium percarbonate as this is the best substance for cleaning decks.
You may need to mix the formula together. If this is the case, then be sure to get yourself some rubber gloves and maybe even a face mask and some goggles. Then it’s time to start cleaning.
Rub away using a tight bristle brush and really scrub hard. It’s important that you don’t try and rub the whole decking in large brush strokes. Instead, go over and over a small area in lots of detail to ensure you are removing even the smallest bits of grime.
Try to wash the small areas of deck you are working on and then leave them to dry. After a while, you might start to see the wood returning to its natural color, in which case this is a job well-done.
The other option is to rent (or buy) a power washer to really blast your decking of all the dirt and grime that has been gathering.
You need a power washer of around 600 to 800 PSI of pressure and a nozzle that has an angle of 25-40 degrees.
The only issue with doing this is a power washer can sometimes be too powerful and strip softer wood of some of its color and grain. You need to do the opposite of your manual cleaning ritual and avoid spending loads of time in one area.
Instead, spray the nozzle over the entire decking in a back and forth motion. Also, be careful not to come too close to the decking. Don’t spray any closer than six inches closer to the decking.
Bring Back the Color
Restoring your wooden deck every now and then can be done as part of a home renovation product and this can often be more important than cleaning your deck on a regular basis.
Wood deck restoration should hopefully bring back a lot of the color to your decking. This is particularly true if you have not cleaned your decking in a long time or the cleaning process has not restored the beautiful wooden hue to your decking as you would have liked.
What is Discoloration?
Your decking is exposed on a regular basis to the ultraviolet light of the sun, and over time this affects the structure of your decking.
It is when this structure starts to break down that you start to see the wood lose its brown color and turn grey. Not to worry, restoring your wooden deck is relatively straight forward.
Different Solutions for Different Wood
Non-chlorine oxygenated bleach is perfect for most types of wood and will get rid of most of the stains and restore the wood to its natural color. They are also good for the environment.
Don’t use this type of bleach for woods like redwood or cedar, however. The bleach can darken the natural color rather than restore it.
Instead, for these types of wood, use chlorine bleach. This is toxic, so always consult the instructions and ask for some advice about safety precautions from fellow users. But it’s crucial because it lightens the wood rather than darkens it.
Deck Maintenance Isn’t Hard
Maintaining your deck might seem like a massive chore, but like most things in life, it only becomes a hard job if you put it off and don’t organize yourself.
By creating for yourself a proper routine for household tasks, you can ensure your deck always looks immaculate. Regular cleaning with a leaf blower and the right cleaning equipment, such as a power washer, can ensure all the dirt and grim is regularly removed.
However, for those of you who have left your decking for too long and have started to see the beautiful colors fade, a simple bleach solution can often do the trick to restoring it to its former glory.
If you are interested in more stories on decking and deck maintenance, be sure to check out our article on DIY deck design ideas.