All You Need to Know About Wood Decking

All You Need to Know About Wood Decking

If you aren’t a pofessional at maintaining your deck, it can seem a daunting task. If your deck is currently in pristine condition you’re in luck. It’s suggested to thoroughly clean it two annually so you won’t have to make up for any lost ground. The rest of us may be working uphill, but it can definitely be done.
If you don’t have a deck and intend to build one, be sure to have it built with quality materials and painted with quaility paint. The money you spend now is likely money you’ll save later as wood can warp or rot if not maintained.

For those that have decks, proper maintenance is an easy way to ensure a long life for your deck. As a homeowner, I encourage you stock up on everything that you’ll need to get the job of cleaning and maintenance done if you intend to do it yourself. The following is a basic guide for deck maintenance and cleaning.

Know your deck material

Deck maintenance can generally be broken down into 3 categories: cleaning, restoring, and protecting. What you’ll need for each is dependent entirely on the material/s your deck is composed of. If you’re choosing materials for a deck to be built, don’t stress because there isn’t a right or wrong way choice. What you pick depends on your budget, visual preferences and how you want it to look with your house and yard. Here’s some information on these materials.

Wood decking

Easily customizable and popular for ages, but the most tricky to maintain is wood decking. Wood decking can come in various sizes, shapes and types and all require different methods of cleaning.

The most popular type of wood is pressure treated lumber. It’s the most accessible mater with the most disadvantages if neglected. If not maintained, it’s prone to splitting, cracking or warping at points. This can all be avoided however by proper maintenance and wood preservatives.

Another two popular options are cedar and redwood. They’re pricier but, of higher quality and chemical free. They should be power washed one a year and reconditioned with a coat of paint that’s specifically made for the material. Note: deck waterproofing products are your friend for wood materials.

Composite decking

People big on recyclables and the environment are driving up the popularity of composite decks. There are some clear advantages that composite has over wood like its lower price point and is less suseptible to staining depending on the material quality. There is, however, no replacing the look and feel of wood. The biggest advtange that composite keeps are its far lower maintenance requirements.

Aluminum decking

The least used and easiest to maintain is aluminum decking. It also has the longest product life, but the greatest price point. It can be viewed as an investment in materials to avoid time and cost in future maintenance.

Cleaning your deck

The first and probably most important part of maintenance is cleaning. The other steps aren’t possible if your deck is still dirty. Honestly, it’s truly ill advised to more forward to sealing or staining if everything isn’t spotless, so be please pay attention to detail and your deck will stay as amazing as when you got it.
When cleaning, you may want to save money, but its best that you buy the best deck clean on the market for your base material. Keep in mind that the money you spend now is money you’ll save later. Losing bits of your deck to rot or warping just isn’t worth it.

You can and should start cleaning your wood deck by killing all the algae, moss and fungus with a basic fungicide. If there are termites or other pest hiding beneath your deck,  bit of insecticide will be good for removing them as well. After you’re done, then you can move onto using that material specific high-quality cleaner.

Once your deck is ready and you have your cleaner, be sure to read and follow the instructions beforehand. Make sure to apply evenly and cover all areas of your deck. After that, it’s a matter of time. Wait as indicated. The timeframe can change from product to product so go enjoy a beer.

The last step is to wash the deck with water. A quality pressure washer is suggested and if you need one or information on pressure washers in general, is an excellent place to start.

The wrapup

The procedures are much easier for composite and aluminum as they aren’t as porous and don’t require the same level of maintenance. This, however, is the end of this article. If you’re interested in the rest of the information and want to finish the series be sure to check out the followup. In it, the next two steps are explained in detail.

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