Decks are beautiful places and additions on homes. They serve as primary areas of recreation and relaxation. Moreover, they are altars upon which beautiful and lasting memories and bonding take place in the home. They give you space to sit and enjoy he beautiful breeze and warming sunlight as well as standing out as platforms from which you can enjoy the spectacular rising and setting the sun and also the comforting blazing of the moon and stars in the night. These are just a few of the beautiful benefits that a deck can give to a family.
However, the continued enjoyment of the above benefits does not come free of charge. There is a cost that has to be paid in order for you to continue using and enjoying your deck. Maintenance is the name of that price and it will ensure that your deck lives long enough to serve you for the better. This article is dedicated to bringing to your attention a detailed and simple manner by which you can carry out routine and regular maintenance on your deck.
One of the major causes of mildew, mold, and rot in decks is dirt. When you do not clean your deck properly and regularly, you expose it to decomposing agents that expose your deck to premature aging and demise. Begin by removing all the debris that is hidden and trapped between the deck boards using a putty knife.
After you have removed the debris you need to protect the nearby plants and vegetations buy covering them with a plastic sheet thereafter, you can sweep the deck. After sweeping you now need to get your hand on the right cleaning materials that are appropriate for the right kind of deck.
The cleaning process
Make sure that you choose an appropriate day that is marked by fair and conducive weather conditions. Make sure you choose a cloudy day that is not rainy so that the cleaner is neither washed away by the rains nor evaporated by the sun.
For wooden decks:
Clean using a garden sprayer, and a paint roller. Make sure that he deck is not pooled till you have scrubbed it. Afterwards, you can let it soak for some 10 minutes before rinsing.
For composite decks:
You will need to scrub using a soft brush. Do not use a pressure washer. Use a deck brightener to remove any leaf stain and rust.
For vinyl decks:
Scrub the deck in circular motion using a stiff broom. Afterwards, you can give it a thorough rinsing.After you are done with the cleaning, give the deck some two days to dry and then apply a sealant. Remember this: composite decks do not require sealants, unless the sealant you are using is intended for composite decks.
Dry weather is the best time to inspect your deck for any damages and fix them. As you conduct the inspection, pay keen attention to those areas that are close to the ground or close to water sources. Check out for any signs of rotting. Start at the stair case and in particular where the stringers connect to the ground. Try pushing a screw driver into a given deck area and see go deep it goes. If you can screw in at least half an inch deep, then there is rot taking place.
Another key area that needs to be inspected is the ledger. Remember, it is the ledger that connects the deck to the house and if it is damaged and not repaired, then there are very high chances that the deck will collapse. Ensure that the flashing of the ledger does not have any hole or rust because this will begin to let moisture get into the siding.
Other key areas that require checking are rails and boards. Make sure that the rail is not loose. Try shaking it to ensure that it still has the strength to hold weight safely. Also check for any cracks in the boards. If there are any cracks, plan for a replacement because all crack grow bigger with time and hence you need early prevention.
After you have checked these key areas of the deck, you can now turn your attention to other parts of the deck as well. Check the joists, beams, and posts of the deck to find if they have any rot, rust, or any other form of damage.
If your checking and diagnosing proves that there is a need to repairs, call an expert and let them give a rough estimate of the cost of the repairs. Remember, if you do not detect such repair issues on time, you will not take appropriate measures in time. The result will be that you will end up risking the lives of your family and your own life should the deck collapse.
Other preventive measures
Aside the steps above, there are other simple routine measures that can be taken to keep your deck in good shape. These measures are costless but if you ignore them, you may end up paying for them with money and the wellbeing of your family and friends who use the deck.
Debris and leaves: make sure that you do not allow debris and leaves to accumulate in the deck’s corners.
Moving planters and chairs:
do not move chairs and planters too often. If you do so, you expose your deck to unnecessary scratches. Likewise, the deck will lose its luster because of discoloration.
Plants and vegetation:
always keep the deck at least one foot away from vegetation cover by trimming them. The reason is that when trees are too close to the deck, they facilitate and expedite the growth and activities of rot, moss, and mold. Remember that rot and mold are some of the most common causes of damage to decks.
All these are simple preventive and maintenance measures that will ensure that you enjoy the benefits of you deck for longer and without unnecessary interference and inconvenience. If you follow them, you will have every reason to smile and never regret why you built your deck in the first place