Decking Maintenance: 9 Tips For Keeping Your Deck Looking Great

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Decking Maintanance Tips

Outdoor decks are ideal for relaxation, with wooden decks complementing natural surroundings and long-lasting and low-maintenance composite decks. However, constant exposure to weather elements can cause discoloration, warping, and rot, reducing deck lifespan.

Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your deck great for seasons to come. On the bright side, there are some tips and strategies you can implement to easily achieve your deck maintenance goals.

In this brief post, we will highlight 9 valuable deck maintenance tips to make your life easier. 

1. Regularly sweep and clear debris off your deck

To keep your deck looking its best, it’s essential to perform regular cleaning. Simple tasks such as sweeping loose dirt and debris weekly can prevent discoloration, mold and mildew growth, and wood rot. Keep in mind that fallen leaves and dirt left on the deck for too long can harm its natural luster.

At least once a year, use a deck cleaner suitable for your deck to remove dirt, mold, algae, and discoloration caused by oxidation. Numerous brands offer deck cleaners, all designed to help your deck maintain its natural beauty.

The best thing you can do here is to develop a deck cleaning schedule and stick to it. 


Beautiful maintained deck

2. Clean your deck at least once a year with a deck cleaner and a pressure washer

Apart from clearing dirt and debris, it’s also important to pressure wash decking boards at least once a year with mild detergent to remove accumulated dirt that may harm the wood or composite material. This will help prevent damage to the timber and maintain its natural appearance.

Before you attempt to pressure wash your deck, master the proper technique to avoid causing damage to your timber deck. Pressure washing a deck can be a highly effective cleaning method, but the intense force produced by the machine can be harmful if not used correctly.

To prevent damage, make sure to keep the nozzle at a safe distance and use an appropriate pressure setting for wooden surfaces. If you’re looking to build a composite deck, don’t forget to check out some modern composite decking ideas

3. Apply a deck sealer or stain 

A deck sealer is a great way to protect the wood from water damage and UV rays. Before you apply a deck sealer, thoroughly clean and dry your deck. Sanding the surface will remove any rough spots or splinters, ensuring the sealant can be absorbed correctly.

Sealing your deck provides protection against common issues like cracking, splitting, and warping. It also waterproofs the surface and underlying materials. With many deck-sealing products available, select one that provides protection against both water and UV rays if your deck receives a lot of direct sunlight.

For the best results, reapply the deck sealant every two years. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, composite decks are a great choice. Unlike traditional wooden decks, they don’t require staining or sealing, making them an excellent long-term investment.

If you’re looking to build a new deck, make sure to work with one of the best decking installation services in London.

4. Inspect your deck for signs of rot, loose boards, and damaged or rusted hardware

Regularly inspecting your decking is crucial to ensure that any damage is caught early and addressed before it becomes a bigger issue. Pay attention to signs of rot, rusted hardware, or cracks in both the floorboards and the railings and supports.

Use a flat-head screwdriver to probe the wood and check for soft spots. If you find a soft spot or can insert the screwdriver more than 5mm, this is a sign of rot and you should contact a professional to address the problem as soon as possible.

By catching and addressing small issues early, you can prevent them from becoming larger, more expensive problems later on.

5. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools 

Do not use any harsh chemicals or tools for cleaning purposes as they can damage the wood or the finish. Try to use natural, non-toxic cleaning solutions to keep your deck in good condition for years to come.

There are many commercially available cleaning tools and cleaning chemicals that can harm the integrity and grace of your deck. Avoid them. Harsh chemicals can also lead to a slippery deck as they erode the top layer that provides traction. 


Chemicals for maintaining your garden deck

6. Use furniture pads and avoid dragging heavy objects across your deck 

As a homeowner, you may need to move furniture or heavy objects around your deck from time to time. However, moving furniture can cause permanent scuffs or scratches on your deck floor, especially if they’re made of delicate materials like wood. To avoid such damages, take some precautionary measures.

One way to protect your floors is to use furniture pads or sliders, which can be easily placed underneath the legs of your furniture. This will enable you to slide your furniture around without scratching or scuffing the deck

Another option is to use area rugs or mats to cover high-traffic areas or areas where heavy objects will be moved. These rugs will help to distribute the weight and prevent any damage.

It’s also essential to lift heavy objects instead of dragging them across the floor. Dragging can cause deep scratches and even gouges in your deck boards.

Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Deck Maintenance

7. Trim nearby trees and shrubs

Here is another deck preventive maintenance tip: prevent overhanging branches and leaves from falling onto your deck. To maintain the health of both trees and the deck, trim nearby trees and shrubs regularly. 

This involves removing branches that are dead or damaged due to disease, insect infestation, storms, or other forms of mechanical damage. It is also important to remove branches that rub against each other or leave stubs after pruning.

8. Keep your deck dry and well-ventilated

To prevent moisture buildup and promote airflow, you have to keep your deck dry and well-ventilated. It is recommended to have the air moving from one side of the deck to the other. 

It will help you create a cross-ventilation system to circulate air and promote faster drying of the decking and substructure. Remember, a well-maintained deck will increase the value of your home. 

9. Consider using a deck cover or awning to protect your deck 

An awning or cover can be a valuable addition to your deck, offering a viable deck maintenance solution. One of the key benefits of an awning is that it provides effective protection for your deck and its furnishings from various elements. 

For example, it shields your deck from the harsh sun during summer and keeps it dry during rainy seasons.

Retractable awnings offer even more flexibility as they can be adjusted or completely folded to suit your needs. This allows you to control the amount of shade you want on your deck, depending on the time of day or weather conditions. 

Final Thoughts

So, are you ready to take good care of your beautiful deck? Make sure to consider applying these maintenance techniques to keep your deck in superb condition all year round.