Our decks are the ultimate outdoor entertainment spot, whether we’re hosting a backyard barbecue or having the neighbors over for cocktails. But that means they can take a beating over time, necessitating repairs or replacement.
Call a professional for deck repair in Los Angeles if it needs some TLC – and if you’re after quality results. Plus, an evaluation should suffice if your deck is beginning to show its age or seems structurally unsound.
That said, you might be curious to know when you should bite the bullet and replace your deck. Well, a traditional wood deck lasts up to 15 years, while capped composite boards have a remarkable lifespan of 25-30 years. Even so, capped polymer is the top-tier choice, with a lifespan of 50+ years – thanks to its superior composition and robustness.
Various aspects may accelerate the deterioration process. For instance, frequent exposure to moisture puts your deck at the mercy of the elements, increasing the chance of rot and decay. Moreover, improper installation could mean your deck needs replacement sooner than planned. That’s because incorrect fastening could strain the structure, leading to premature aging.
Also, if your deck gets more than its fair share of foot traffic or if you use it to host heavy furniture, the extra weight can take its toll, necessitating replacement. A neglected deck can also become a rotting relic of the past. Fortunately, regular maintenance can help keep your deck in tip-top shape for years. In that regard, consider implementing the following care tips to give your deck a fighting chance.
1. Clean Regularly
Cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness. You might not be the spiritual type, but you obviously don’t mind a clean deck, no? So, grab your broom and sweep away debris or dirt to keep it looking great. While at it, a mop and bucket of warm water can help remove stubborn dirt, algae, mold, and grime.
For starters, dirt is abrasive – it might appear harmless. Still, over time, it can wear away the protective layer on your deck, shortening its lifespan. With that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to ensure your porch is always spic and span.
Even so, don’t go overboard. A soft brush and deck cleaner designed for your type of deck is sufficient. Harsh chemicals can ruin the protective coating, exposing your deck to water damage. For instance, while chlorine kills mildew, it can affect treated wood by causing discoloration and weakening it. If you’re unsure about the right deck cleaning products or need assistance with maintaining your deck, it’s advisable to consult a professional deck builder, like deck building experts in Springfield, who can provide expert advice and help ensure the longevity of your deck.
2. Make Sealant Your Deck’s Friend
Sealant helps protect your deck from the elements, preventing damage and premature aging. It also guards against harmful UV rays and creates a waterproof barrier that prevents stains, making cleaning much easier. To that end, Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing comes highly recommended.
That said, consider sealing your deck in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild, and precipitation is low. This gives the sealant enough time to cure. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results. Usually, this means ensuring the deck is clean and dry before applying a coat of sealant. It’s also advisable to sand it to eliminate irregularities. Sanding also helps the wood absorb the sealant better.
So, every two years, head out and get some quality sealant, and help your deck last longer. But if you have a composite deck, you don’t need to seal it. Composite boards come pre-sealed and require minimal maintenance.
3. Keep an Eye Out for Damage
Periodic inspections are the secret behind a healthy and lasting deck. Hence, check for signs of wear and tear, such as cracking, splintering, or discoloration. Also, if the wood feels spongy underfoot, it might be rotten underneath, necessitating replacement.
Holes in the boards may also point to insect damage. Burrowing bugs can cause significant damage to your deck’s structure. And if they eat decaying wood, they could turn your deck into a buffet, and before you know it, you’re shopping for new decking material.
Also, examine the deck railing to ensure it’s secure. While at it, you can test it by exerting pressure and wiggling it. You might have to fasten it in place or replace broken parts if it gives way.
The flashing should also be in good condition. Basically, these guards prevent water from seeping into your home, which could otherwise lead to costly repairs. Also, ensure that runoff doesn’t pool on the deck, as this can lead to wood rot. If so, you may need a professional to adjust the drainage or slope.
Regular inspections can help you address issues before they snowball. In other words, if you spot damage, address it right away. After all, it’s easier and cheaper to fix minor issues.
A well-maintained deck adds character to your home and creates an inviting spot. Don’t let it fall into disrepair or lose its luster – be proactive to keep it looking great. That way, you can prolong its service life and avoid an unplanned or premature replacement.