If you want to enjoy outdoor living for many years, your deck needs regular maintenance. In fact, the only way to truly enjoy your deck will be to regularly maintain and repaint it. If your deck is old and grimy from years of being neglected, then you can start fresh by cleaning and sealing it. You can purchase deck cleaning product at your local hardware store as well as make your own home-made concoctions out of different household items that’re highly effective in combating algae, mildew, debris and oil buildup. You’ll also have to regularly stain or even seal your deck to protect it against the harsh consequences of elemental exposure – mostly water – and keep it looking new. Here are a few tips for taking care of your deck.
If you’re using wood deck cleaning products to protect your deck from dirt, leaves and other debris, wear gloves whenever you handle these products. When you apply deck sealer, wear gloves to prevent splinters from staining your skin. However, even if you wear gloves, don’t wear them all the time. If you use the proper wood sealer with wooden tools like sandpaper and an electric buffer, you shouldn’t have any problems but if you use too much, there’s a possibility that some splinters will be left behind.
Other than using protective gear, another important thing is to steer clear of scrubbing your wood deck cleaning solutions. Some people are so concerned about getting the chemicals on their skin they go ahead and scrub their hands or their faces instead. While it may sound like a good idea, using scrubs like this can lead to serious chemical burns. Remember that the chemicals from scrubbing your solutions can also be transferred to your skin. It’s better to limit your scrubbing to once every few months or so. Instead, use a normal garden hose to wash out your garden or hose off your feet.
When it comes to sweeping your wood decks, remember to sweep in the direction of the grain. You should never miss a corner as this area contains most of the natural sap in your deck. It’s important to never rub the corners of your wood decks as this will lead to hardening. You should also make sure not to use a broom with a very wide beam as this can damage your floors. Using a broom with a wider beak is a better option as it won’t damage your floors.
In general, it’s best to allow your wood decks to dry thoroughly before you apply any sealing or cleaning solutions. You may need to do a quick sanding after you finish cleaning as well. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothes because you may need to use a wet sandpaper on your sealing materials. You can use this to remove the most dirt and dust from the material while leaving the protective sealer layer intact.
Keeping up with your wood decking maintenance is easier if you have a pump and pressure washer. For larger areas, consider a power washer. For smaller areas, you can use a broom. For really dirty spots, you can use a pressure washer. However, the best method for maintaining your composite deck is to clean regularly with an absorbent sponge or a vacuum.