Avoid These Common Ways to Damage Your Deck
Regular cleaning and maintenance of your new deck is important to preserving its overall longevity. By doing this, you can avoid the buildup of standing water as well as prevent the formation of mildew, fungus and mold. However, there’s more that goes into protecting your deck than just knowing how to clean it properly. Avoid these common ways to damage your deck.
#1: Letting damp leaves build up on your deck
Any damp plant or tree debris, if left for too long on your deck, can start to deteriorate the quality of your decking. In a base case scenario, it can leave behind a bad stain. In a worst-case scenario, the debris can get between the deck boards and lead to the formation of mold and fungus.
#2: Using chlorine bleach
It might be tempting to use a bleaching agent to remove any stains on the deck. However, bleach cleaners can be very corrosive to the wood, and will likely lead to discoloration. If at all possible, only use a non-toxic cleaner. On the bottle of the bleach cleaner, always check for the word “sodium hypochlorite” – if you see it, then the cleaner is not suitable for backyard decking.
#3: Letting rust buildup on metal furniture or fixtures
Metal deck furniture may seem durable and practical, but it can also lead to rust stains on your deck. Unfortunately, this rust may be hard to spot before it’s too late. As a result, take particular care in wiping down metal furniture or fixtures. Some homeowners, in fact, place felt pads on the bottom of metal furniture, specifically to prevent the formation of rust stains.
#4: Using a power washer on your deck
Normal wear and tear plus constant pounding by the sun’s UV rays takes its toll on the wood’s surface, and if you scrub or power wash too forcefully — or even just wash with water too often — you can actually cause further damage. You will likely end up scratching your deck. Moreover, the intense pressure can cause some of the wood to splinter, or open up recesses where mold can hide. So, at the same time that you think you are giving your deck a thorough, all-over clean, you are actually working against the long-term durability of the deck. Better to leave this to the pros.
By keeping in mind these 4 common sources of damage to a deck, you can help to preserve your deck’s overall appearance. If in doubt about the proper way to clean and maintain your deck, you should consult a deck professional like The Deck Aficionados at Seal-a-Deck. Pay particular attention to water (including snow and ice), and avoid any harmful man-made contaminants, and you should be able to keep your deck looking spectacular for years to come.