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The Complete Guide to Cleaning & Maintaining Your Deck

deck maintenance

Decks weather a lot of damage. Whether it’s heavy furniture, foot traffic or exposure to the elements, all outdoor decks undergo stress on a daily basis. Luckily, with proper care, your deck can withstand almost anything. Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure your deck stays safe, sturdy, and looking great.


Every type of deck requires different care, but there are some general guidelines to follow when maintaining any deck. If it’s been a little too long since you last gave your deck some attention, take a look at this guide to deck maintenance and cleaning.



Inspect Regularly


Inspections are an important part of deck maintenance. If there are any areas posing serious safety hazards, it’s essential to find them as soon as possible. Some damage, such as underneath the wood, can go unnoticed if you don’t regularly take a closer look. Move any furniture off of your deck before an inspection so you have a clear, unobstructed view. Be sure to look for signs of rotting or molding, loose boards, protruding nails, and less obvious damage like hardware failures or a damaged ledger.



Make Repairs Quickly


Letting even a small crack go untouched for too long can lead to irreparable damage. To prevent collapse or expensive repairs down the line, take care of anything that comes up right away. Sometimes only small repairs are needed, like when the wood splits. Other times, you may need to replace an entire board or do a larger restoration. Getting this done will pay off in the long run by ensuring your deck stays safe and looks great for years.



Clean Thoroughly


Do you remember the last time you gave your deck a deep clean? It’s suggested to clean your deck at least once per year to keep it in top shape. Before you start, be sure to clear off furniture, sweep away debris, and cover or move any surrounding plants that could be damaged by the cleaner you use.


Figuring out how to clean a wood deck can be difficult. It’s all about finding the balance between using enough force while still being gentle enough to avoid causing damage. A powerful nozzle on a garden hose may be enough to clear out anything clogging the spaces between the boards. If not, use a pressure washer with control and care. Be sure to choose the appropriate cleaner for the decking material you have, and use a utility brush to scrub away dirt.



Seal and Protect


No matter what climate you live in, sealing your deck is important to keep it protected. During your yearly maintenance, make sure the coating is still doing its job. If not, it may be time for a reseal. Wood can get damaged in any climate, not just in rainy locations. Look for a coating that is fully waterproof, not just water-resistant, and that protects against UV rays. All finishes are not the same, so choose one that works with your deck.



Call The Professionals


Routinely taking care of your deck will make a big difference, but sometimes you also need help from a specialist. It’s recommended to have your deck professionally inspected, cleaned and resealed every 2-3 years to maximize its longevity. The experts at WICR can help you make any repair and protect your deck effectively and safely, so you can enjoy it now, and well into the future.