When a company advertises their decking product as “no maintenance,” it’s far from the truth. There is a difference between “no maintenance” and “low maintenance.” Neither one of these mean you can neglect your deck altogether. Being lazy without routine maintenance could just be a recipe for disaster.
If you are unsure about the safety and stability of your deck DO NOT STEP ON IT! Call a local licensed contractor to come and inspect the deck before hand, and let them make any needed repairs.
Annual cleaning and inspections can add years onto the life of your deck!
Check your fastening system!
One of the main reasons why decks fail in the first place is because of the types of fasteners that were used for installation. If your deck is older than 15 years, then you may not have the proper fasteners holding everything together. Nails were once an approved form of deck installation, but over the years they have been phased out, and lag bolts or screws are the industry standard.
When you are inspecting your deck for the fasteners, if you see any that are rusted or corroded, replace them! Stainless steel, although is a little pricy, will last you a lot longer than typical galvanized steel.
Clean your decking!
The simplest thing you can do for you deck is to give it a really good sweep! Organic elements such as pollen, dirt and debris can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The mold and mildew can enter any tiny crevice it can find on your decking material and have a party on your boards. Composite materials are susceptible to this too, in fact they are one of the worst materials for mold and mildew problems.
Freshen up your Deck!
Just a simple scrub with some warm water works wonders. If for any reason you don’t feel like this is enough and you would like your deck to look a little brighter, you can use an APPROVED decking cleaner. Messmer’s Deck Cleaner & Wood Brightener and great products to use on decking materials, and you can even use them on materials such as Ipe and Cumaru!
After you have finished the cleaning and inspection process, you can go the extra mile and apply a coat of Hardwood Deck Finish. This enhances the colors and increases its overall lifespan.