How to Maintain a Deck


Like any part of your home, your deck needs regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it safe and durable for years to come. Although composite material decks require less maintenance than wooden ones, all decks benefit from regular cleaning and inspections. Here’s how to keep your deck in shape:


Giving your deck a good inspection at least twice a year is a great way to find rotting boards and weakening structure before it becomes a problem. Be sure to inspect the wood where the stairs make contact with the ground and where the boards meet your house. If you notice any exposed nails, be sure to pry them up and replace them. Put weight against the railings to make sure they are secure and replace any hardware that is rusted. 


Consider scheduling cleaning when temperatures are sunny and mild for best results. Before cleaning, sweep the deck and clear any furniture. Using a putty knife is a great way to get debris out from between the boards. If you are using chemical deck cleaners, be sure to cover surrounding vegetation to avoid damaging them.

Using a pump garden sprayer or hose with any kind of pressure attachment is an easy way to spray down your deck. Apply cleaner to both horizontal and vertical surfaces, and allow it to sit for the recommended period of time. Then, wash it down with a pressure attachment, or pressure washer to get a deeper clean. Be sure to keep the pressure low to avoid causing damage to the wood. 


Your boards may need a new protective coating, especially if they’ve never had one. If you drop water on the boards and it absorbs the water, it’s time to reseal. Any new deck should weather for 60-90 days before applying sealant.

Sanding the surface before application helps sealant to absorb into the wood easier and mitigates splinters. Using an orbital sander with 60-80 grit sandpaper will get the job done, and vacuum afterwards to ensure dust doesn’t settle. Begin by using a paintbrush to apply sealant to railings and small surfaces. Then, use a flat pad applicator or roller with an extension pole to seal the main boards. Let it soak according to instructions, and stay off the deck for at least a day until the deck is dried.

Bundl Home’s handypeople can do all of these deck maintenance tasks, and more. Learn more here