If you build it, they will come. “It” is a deck. “They” are the elements and various creatures who live out in the bushes. Decks are great additions to your home. They increase property value and provide new areas to enjoy and entertain outside.
A deck also brings some additional responsibilities. You’ll have to routinely clean this new space. Depending on the building material, you may also have to paint—or at least recondition your deck on a regular basis. Don’t worry. The enjoyment of your new deck far outweighs the effort of taking care of it.
MOSTLY EASY STUFF
You’re not going to have to go out and buy a supply shed full of new tools to prepare for the upkeep of your deck. In fact, you probably have everything you’ll need already—except for maybe a putty knife.
If your deck is assembled from wood or a wood substitute, it’ll likely have small spacing in between each plank of wood. This is to let water drain through when it rains. But it’s also a place where things like leaves and other debris can get wedged.
Off you go to the home improvement store for a putty knife. It may be called a knife, but seldom is the edge sharp. This special tool has a wide and flat blade made of metal. It’s mostly used for scraping or applying assembly materials—but it’s perfect for dislodging things that fall into those cracks. You’ll want to do this on a regular basis.
If your deck is mostly in the shade or you live in an area prone to lots of rain, you’ll want to keep an eye out for mold. It’ll grow quickly and can deteriorate your deck’s building material—especially if it’s made of wood.
Usually, all you’ll need to do is wash down the deck regularly with a hose that’s got a nozzle capable of generating a forceful spray. Follow the deck material manufacturer’s guidelines. Use a cleaner that’s appropriate for wood if that’s the composition of your deck. Vinyl decks can be cleaned with dish detergent and water.
Clean your wood rails from the bottom going up. You’ll find it easier to see what you’ve cleaned. A long-bristle scrub brush can help speed things along by getting into the nooks and crannies easier.
It may be tempting, but skip using a pressure washer on your deck. This can strip paint from the wood, or even remove the protectant that was used to seal the wood if it’s only stained. In some cases, pressure washing man-made decking material can void the warranty. If you need some extra scrubbing power, consider a rigid broom.
How often should you clean your deck? It’s a personal preference that’ll likely depend on how often you use it. But think in the opposite direction. If you don’t use it much, it won’t be ready to enjoy because you probably don’t clean it that often, either. Take out that smartphone of yours and put it to use. Set a reminder to clean the deck regularly.
Frequent cleaning will help you make short work of it.
Talk to us about custom decks. We’ll do more than help you with the design. We’ll also take into consideration the trees and surrounding environment so we can suggest the building material that will provide the least amount of cleanup and maintenance for you.