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Of all the aspects of home maintenance, decks may be the most widely and frequently neglected item we own.And yet, it may be one of the parts of our homes exterior we use the most. Some homeowners seem unaware(perhaps willfully unaware) that decks require an annual checkup and seasonal upkeep.
Decks need to be maintained yearly with a cleaning to remove the buildup of dirt and the effects of wear and tear as well as maybe even bbq spills and food. After a good cleaning, it will allow for a closer examination for loose or missing screws or nails, cracks or splintering of the wood. in typical climates, this cracking usually is the result of the wood drying due to loss of its natural oils. In colder climates this can be enhanced by water entering into the wood and expanded due to freeze-thaw cycles.
Many experts say decks should be resealed every two to three years, which is at least five years sooner than some homeowners probably assume. Many homeowners are likely to cut corners on the prep work. Commonly, a homeowner will be reluctant to power wash the deck prior to applying a new coat of stain, or make the mistake of using something like chlorine bleach to try and clean the surface before staining.
There are also available heavy-duty products called deck resursafacers which are designed to extend the lives of extremly distressed decks. The drawback is that the coverage rate is approximately five times less than that of an average stain and only hide the problem allowing it to continue to degrade in structural integrity.
Every customer has a different scenario with their project, and different scenarios require different solutions. At the end of the day, Mother Nature has the final say on the performance of these products.
The most complained about surface in the exterior wood maintenance industry is the Deck. However, with proper care and regular maintenance the complaints can be minimized and the results enhanced.
DECK TIPS: take your time, preparation is everything, follow the directions, let it dry, maintain it!