Deck Maintenance: mastering the basics

Deck Maintenance: mastering the basics
Maintaining one’s deck is an important task that must be done regularly and thoroughly if one wishes to keep their deck a long-term investment. Depending on the type of deck, a different basic maintenance routine must be followed.

Outdoor wooden decking is most popularly composed of pressure-treated lumber. Despite being a common choice, pressure-treated lumber is prone to warping, cracking, or splitting if maintenance is neglected.

More expensive, but easier to maintain, alternatives to pressure-treated lumber, include cederwood and redwood. All of these wooden deck varieties should be power-washed and recoated with a wood-protecting sealant each year. Water- proofing sealants are an option for homeowners who live in very damp, rainy climates to consider, as excessive moisture can lead to the accelerated aging of the deck’s product life.

Composite decking is gaining popularity because of its recycled content. It is also a popular choice because it is one of the most low maintenance options for decking. Aluminium decking, however, is even easier to maintain than composite decking, and is known for being the least common, and most expensive, decking material available. Wooden deck repair or deck sealants are not a concern for owners of aluminium decks as the material is durable enough to last without additional protective measures. In addition to this, aluminium decks have the longest product life of all decking varieties.

When cleaning your deck, no matter its material, the removal of all fungal growth, such as moss or algae, should come first and foremost. Insecticide should also be used to exterminate any insects or pests below the deck. A deck cleaner specifically designed for the material your deck is made of needs to be applied to the deck evenly before scrubbing. The labels of deck cleaners should indicate how long the cleaning agent should be left on the boards, after which, a hose at average pressure can be used to wash the deck cleaning agent off.