It is a common misconception that pressure-treated wooden decks don’t require much maintenance. You should perform deck maintenance tasks once a year to keep the deck safe and help it last longer. Spring is a good time for deck maintenance so that it’s ready for the warmer months ahead. May is National Deck Safety Month and a great time of year to complete these steps to maintain a wooden deck.
Maintain a Wooden Deck by Cleaning it
The first step to maintain a wooden deck is cleaning it. You could choose to do this with a deck cleaning solution and a scrub brush, a hose with a spray nozzle, or a pressure washer. If you choose to use a pressure washer, use caution so that it doesn’t damage the deck. Keep the nozzle at least 8 inches away from the deck surface to prevent the water stream from boring into the deck.
Repair Loose and Broken Parts
As you are cleaning the deck, check for broken or loose boards, railings, and spindles, and make any needed repairs. Look for nails or screws that have popped up, which could hurt feet or cause someone to trip. Splinters are also a safety hazard. If you notice any of these problems, they should be fixed as part of deck maintenance.
Maintain a Wooden Deck with Sanding
After washing the deck, let it dry for 48 hours before sanding and refinishing it. Sand away splinters and rough patches that result from wear and tear. If you are removing paint to apply a natural stain or clear sealant, you’ll need to do this through sanding.
Sealing the Deck
The last step to maintain a wooden deck is to seal the deck. You can use a clear sealant if you want to preserve the natural color of the wood, or you may prefer a semi-transparent stain and sealant combination. If you want a more vibrant color, you may choose to paint the deck, but keep in mind that stain holds up better to foot traffic and the elements.