Winter is the perfect time of year to talk about seasonal deck maintenance. If this item is on your to-do list, don’t forget to include the following tasks to protect your deck from the harsh elements:
To begin the deck maintenance process, clean off any loose debris from the deck surface. This includes any built-up dirt, piles of leaves, broken ranches, or even yard toys and landscaping tools. Piles of debris like this have the tendency to hold water, which along with accumulated dirt, can leave unsightly stains on both wooden and stone decking material.
Next you want to thoroughly pressure wash the entire deck surface. If your deck is made out of some kind of natural stone material, you can be a little bit more aggressive but pressure washing wood needs to be done with some care. Once you are done washing out any stuck in dirt and debris, perform a water pooling test to identify areas, particularly in a wooden deck, where boards are starting to warp or where you have low spots where water can gather and either stain or advance the rotting of the wood.
In the case of wooden decks, it is critical to seal the wood with some type of finishing product. Whether you want to go the long and arduous route of applying multiple layers of a natural wax finish, or the less expensive but more chemical heavy avenue of an outdoor polyurethane coat, leaving a deck exposed to the elements is just not an option. It is important when applying the finish that the deck is completely dry so first let your deck set out in the sun for a full day before getting started and then hit all of the nooks and crannies with towels before getting started. Most of these outdoor finishes can be applied with a paint roller with some light brushwork necessary around corners and edges.
More than anything, put this little regimen on a quarterly schedule and keep your deck looking clean and orderly all year round. While it is not likely that you would need to refinish the deck this often, it is still worth inspecting every inch and applying spot finishes where necessary.