Caring For Your Deck.

Inspect The Deck

As part of your deck maintenance, you should inspect your deck every year. Check especially for any loose boards or protruding nails that need repair, and bolts that need to be tightened. Railing posts and stair stringers and treads will dry and shrink loosening bolts. Clear the deck of any furniture or toys and cover all fragile plants. Next, sweep the deck of larger debris.

Clean The Deck

Before you can apply sealant, stain or paint, you must thoroughly clean the deck of all dirt and build-up. Debris clogging the spaces between deck boards should first be blasted out with a powerful nozzle on a garden hose or a pressure washer. The water can also help dilute any chemicals that may inadvertently come into contact with plants and grass. Be aware that bleach based cleaner used to kill mildew can also leave a surface drab and washed-out. For these problems, an acid-based deck restoration product should be used. These solutions can be brushed on with a push broom or long handled scrub brush. Always read the directions and take proper precautions for your safety and the safety of others. Rinsing the solution with a pressure washer is always best but care should be used because the water jet may actually gouge the wood.

Replace Deck Boards (if needed)

If your deck boards are nailed down, the boards are quite tricky to remove without damaging the surrounding area and you may wish to enlist a professional service like the PACE Maintenance team. You should never take on a home improvement project, unless you feel confident that you know how to fully complete the job. One of the more common unnecessary expenses in home improvement is the extra cost for fixing problems created by overly ambitious DIYers. Of course, replacing decking can be done without extensive decking knowledge, if the board is simply attached, but once you notice any complications, call professionals before you get in over your head.

Paint or Stain the Deck

Though some people choose to paint their decks with deck paint, most take advantage of the natural beauty of expensive decking woods by using a clear or lightly stained finish for their deck. If you do choose to paint, use a stain-blocking oil or alkyd primer first. In general, the best finishes are those that soak into the wood. A heavily pigmented, a solid stain isn’t really recommended for decking because it shows wear patterns and may peel. You want something that really soaks in. The finish should be water repellent or waterproof, not just “water-resistant.”, offer ultraviolet (UV) protection, an if mildew is a potential problem, the finish should contain a mildewcide, which a wood preservative does.

Seal The Deck

Once the area is dry, you must seal the deck. Put down tarps to protect plants, air conditioners, and other items that need protection from the sealant. The level of protection needed depends in part on how you are going to apply the sealant. Sealant can be brushed on, rolled on with a paint roller, or sprayed on. Spraying is the fastest by far, but this is also the hardest to control. And, some sealants have colour that will stain surfaces to which they are applied. Sealants are also rough on plants. While most plants won’t be damaged by getting hit with wafting over-spray, direct hits can do real damage. Sealants come in either water- or oil-based formulas. Professional sealants, which are typically superior, are oil-based and a good quality sealant will also contain ultraviolet sunlight protection to reduce the damaging effects of the sun.

Pace Realty’s Maintenance Team can help you with your deck cleaning and other home maintenance and renovation jobs. Call today for a free, no hassle quote. Call 250-562-6671 or email us at maintenance@pacerealty.ca

Mary-Jean (MJ) Jacobson loves to talk real estate! She is passionate about helping clients increase the value of the assets. She is a Professional Property Manager, Strata Manager, Real Estate Sales Agent and Licensed Managing Broker. She writes a series of articles blogs and whitepapers about the real estate and property management industry at ASK MJ.

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Mary-Jean Jacobson

Mary-Jean Jacobson

MJ is the Managing Broker & Owner of Pace Realty Corporation.

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