Most of us tend to neglect the deck in our homes simply because it is located outside. However, you would need to take good care of your outdoor deck in order to ensure that it stays in good shape for many more years to come. Accordingly, here are some simple tips that would help you keep your outdoor deck dry, clean and sealed.
Sweeping your deck regularly will ensure its longevity. Regular sweeping will remove leaves, dirt, stones and other debris that collect on the deck. If neglected, the debris will attract moisture which in turn would attract termites as well as cause the wood to rot. Make sure you don’t leave out corners and small spaces as well while sweeping as these are the places where the debris usually collects.
Choose proper cleaning solutions
Cleaning solutions for wooden decks usually focus on removing dirt, grime and loose wood fibers from the surface. Some cleaning solutions would contain only detergent while others tend to contain a bleaching agent as an important ingredient. Do not opt for solutions with bleach unless you have stains, mildew or moss on the deck. Too much exposure to bleach can cause the wood to rot.
Tighten the connections periodically
If pressure treated wood was used to make the outdoor deck, chances are with time the connections that have been nailed and bolted could come loose. This would cause the deck to start wobbling and eventually break. Loose collections also attract debris, which with time would lead to moisture build-up in these areas, causing the wood to rot. So ensure that you check the connections periodically, tightening any loose ends that could become a potential problem later on.
Avoid painting the deck
Rather than penetrating the wood, paint would only form a thin film on the wood’s surface. Increased traffic on the deck can cause this film as well as the paint to wear off easily. In addition to looking very unattractive, this would lead to moisture build-up on the deck as water starts seeping beneath the paint and into the wood. So avoid painting your outdoor deck, sticking strictly to those with the label ‘Porch Paints’ if you want to color your deck anyway. Again, these paints will remain unaffected for long periods only if they have a roof above their head to prevent prolonged sun exposure.
Coat the deck with preservatives
It would be considered a wise option to coat your deck with preservatives in order to extend its life. Coating the deck with preservatives would ensure minimum seepage of water into the wood, thus preventing rot to a great extent.
Vent the Deck
Does water from your roof constantly drip onto the outdoor deck? Then chances are the deck would start rotting in a very short span of time. Your best bet to avoid this scenario is to make sure the water from the roof is guttered to another location. You can also opt to install a grill vent next to the drip line in order to create a passage for the water to drip through without hitting the deck.
Maintain air circulation beneath the deck
You need to maintain proper air circulation beneath the deck as well. There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. Open lattice is an option while installing vertical boards with small gaps in between them is also a popular choice among homeowners. Lower level decks would have limited air flow beneath them. In this case, you can opt to frame the substructure using higher quality treated lumber.
Protect the deck from insects
While the steps mentioned above would help you keep your deck clean, chances are some insects may find their way onto the porch and start eating away at the wood. So keep a sharp lookout for insects like wasps and bees that can build nests underneath the deck. Look out for termites as well, tracing them back to the source of origin as quickly as possible to prevent them from spreading all over the deck.
Your outdoor deck would need a fair amount of care to remain in good condition over the years. The tips mentioned above would help you clean the deck properly in addition to protecting it from rot and insects.