How to Improve Your Deck's Longevity

If you’re like many homeowners here in Northern Colorado, you may spend about as much time out on the deck enjoying sunny afternoons as you do lounging in the living room. Our decks are where we grill, where we congregate during summer parties, and where we unwind and read a book in the open air. As such, the deck is as important as any space around the home. Unfortunately, our decks are exposed to far more weathering than most surfaces, and they require care than even the siding or roof of a home. With cleaning, sealing, and the occasional repair, your deck will require attention. To make things easy, we’ve compiled a quick checklist for our Tip of the Month series. Here are some quick guidelines to help you maintain your deck, to ensure that you get the most longevity out of it.

Cleaning

Decks are liable to rot over time, if exposed to mold and mildew. And unfortunately, decks that are low to the ground and shaded decks are more likely to harbor these damaging life forms. Cleaning your deck regularly can help to keep mold and mildew at bay, and it’s a fairly simple procedure. You can sweep and power wash your deck on a hot day to give it a quick clean. Or, you can invest in a deck cleaning solution — be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle, since they vary from product to product. Look for a day with high temperatures and low humidity on the forecast to help dry out the wood after cleaning. Most decks can use a cleaning once or twice per year, depending on use and the amount of debris that piles up.

Finishing

Wood decks need to be resealed often to keep the wood from rotting or damage that can be caused by the sun and precipitation. Invest in a sealer or stain every two years to ensure that your wood is properly protected. You can invest in clear sealers that show off your wood’s natural grain, toners and semi-transparent stains that help to further protect against sunlight while keeping some of the grain exposed, or solid colored stains for improved protection (take note, you won’t be able to see the wood grain at all). You can always hire a professional painting company to stain your deck, as well (we can help you with that!). If you choose to go the DIY route, be sure to look for a forecast of back to back days of sunshine with little to no chance of rain — this will ensure that your finish properly sets on the surface of the wood.

Repairs

Deck wood is liable to shift and shrink throughout its lifespan. That means that you can be left with a deck with swales in it, and you may even have boards popping up in places. If you have a deck with a nailed-down surface, you can usually remedy bulging boards with screws that are longer than the nails you’re replacing. If your boards are screwed down, you may have to use even longer screws, and you may need to hit the supporting joists in a different spot, since the current hole may not hold the thread of the screw. Be sure to check underneath your deck at least once per year to look for board rot. Your beams, joists, and posts should all be free from rot to ensure that your deck is structurally sound. Replace or reinforce any support structure that requires attention.

Count on Horner Painting

If you live here in Fort Collins or throughout Northern Colorado, we’d be happy to stain your deck for you. On top of our interior and exterior home painting services, we provide deck staining services, so you can transform your property in one fell swoop. We’d be happy to meet with you, take a look at your deck, and decide on the perfect stain to provide lasting protection and the look that you desire. Feel free to reach out to us if you’re curious about any of our services, or if you’d like to get started. We provide residential painting services throughout Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Johnstown, Wellington, Severance, and Timnath. Cheers, and enjoy your deck this summer!