How to Maintain Your Deck All Year Round in West Chester, PA
Since your deck is exposed to the elements and the like throughout the year, it’s essential to establish a maintenance routine that protects it and avoids costly repairs.
In this article, we share a simple maintenance guide to help you keep your deck clean, safe, and inviting West Chester, PA.
End of Spring: Wash Your Deck Before Summer
Since summer is the favorite season to enjoy your deck, it is essential to make some preparations before the hot and sunny days.
A dirty deck is an invitation to mold, which can then damage its structure. Here’s how to wash your deck in late spring:
Start by removing any debris and residue that has accumulated between the floorboards and along the ramps.
The best trick is to use a putty knife. Although not always visible, this small debris can build up quickly and cause long-term damage.
Protect All Shrubs, Flowers, and Plants
If they are near your deck, water them, and then cover them with plastic sheeting.
Your greenery will be protected during the next steps of cleaning.
Sweep Your Deck
Once the debris is removed, it is important to properly sweep your deck. It’s an easy and necessary step.
Choose The Right Cleanser
• Wooden deck: Use a standard deck cleaner and follow its directions. Read the label. Some products require the surface to be watered beforehand.
• Composite deck: Use a cleaner designed specifically for composite materials. Tackle grease and oil stains with a commercial degreaser or an eco-friendly homemade recipe.
Clean The Deck
Pick a cloudy day to complete this task. The conditions are ideal when the deck is cold, and the sun does not cause the cleaning products to evaporate.
Let Your Deck Dry
The recommended drying time is generally 24 to 48 hours. Once your deck is clean, now is the perfect time to give it a new look. You can apply a sealer or stain your deck.
Paint Your Deck
Spring (or the start of summer) is a great time to paint your deck since the temperatures are mild.
During The Summer: Inspect Your Deck
The hot, dry summer weather is a great time to take a close look at your deck structure. Pay special attention to areas within 6 inches of the ground or near water sources, such as downspouts, swimming pools (and filter), and planters. These are more at risk.
Look for Signs of Rot
Observe the structural elements with a flat blade screwdriver.
Start by checking the stairs, especially at the level of the stringers (a saw-tooth structure that supports the steps and risers).
Also, check each plank. If you can push the screwdriver 1/4 inch or more into a suspect area, your deck is likely affected by rot.
Check for Cracks or Rotten Deck Boards
Not all cracks pose a structural threat, but they will get worse over time. If you find any damaged planks, replace them now.
Check your Deck Railing and Framing
Shake the ramp lightly to make sure the posts are not loose or damaged. Have them repaired if necessary.
Using a flashlight, pay special attention to the frame under your deck.
This is the frame that connects the terrace to the house.
A damaged frame is the cause of 90% of all deck collapses.
Also, inspect everything below the deck, such as beams.
Check that there is no trace of rust or rotting and that the beams do not move abnormally.
If a part with rotting or rust cannot be easily removed and replaced, be sure to strengthen it.
Beginning of Fall: Prevention Before Winter
Fall is a good time to wash and seal your deck if you haven’t had the chance to do so in the spring.
It is best to do this when the temperatures are mild. If you’ve already done so, here are some preventative actions you can take during Fall.
• Cut down bushes and trees near your deck. They should be at least 12 inches from the deck to slow down mold, moss, and rot.
• Avoid letting leaves and debris pile up in the corners of the deck.
• Move planters, chairs, and tables from time to time to prevent discoloration of the deck boards.
• Maintain nearby gutters and downspouts. If these items are in poor condition, they can lead to mold.
Need Some Help with that?
If you don’t have the painting and design skills and experience required to refinish, consider hiring a professional painting contractor in West Chester, PA, like Left Moon Painting.
We have years of experience offering residential repainting services in Kennett Square, PA, and West Chester PA.
If you would like to try us, request a FREE estimate below to get started or call us at (484) 757-5295 for more information.
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