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How to Care For your Backyard Deck

Building and maintaining a backyard deck can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to them; however, there are a few easy steps anyone can take to help maintain proper deck maintenance.

  • Painting and Staining
  • Sanding Boards
  • Ensuring Proper Drainage

Painting and Staining

Painting and staining are two separate processes that allow you to treat the wood of the deck with a substance that prolongs the life of the wood. Painting involves applying a physical coating to the wood that prevents everyday wear and tear, while staining involves soaking the wood in a colored liquid that “stains” the wood.
Doing either one of these to your deck can be time consuming and sometimes expensive; however, this is the best way to revitalize an old deck and maintain its appearance in the long run. If you are looking to update the look of your deck without replacing boards, painting or staining is a good bet.

Sanding Boards

Using a sander on old or faded deck boards can remove the worn surface and expose a fresh, new surface. By sanding off the outer layer, the boards become more ready to accept paint into their wood fibers, which makes applying fresh paint or stain much more efficient. Besides the obvious benefit of removing the beat-up parts of old boards, sanding can also help smooth out and even the surface of the deck. This process will keep deck boards looking relatively new for years to come, and costs very little money to do.
The only real downside of sanding is that eventually the boards will be ground down to the point where they need to be replaced. Of course, the sanding itself should in theory elongate the life of the boards in the first place. It is up to the owner to decide if the sanding process is worth it to them.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

This is an oftentimes overlooked aspect of owning a deck. When it rains, if water is staying pooled on the wood for long periods of time, the general wear and tear of the boards will be greatly accelerated. Water allows for bugs, bacteria, and mold to eat away at the wood, resulting in an unsafe deck. Ensuring that there is proper spacing in between boards in order to allow water to drain is paramount to the long-term health of any deck.
If you find that there is not adequate spacing in between boards to allow water to drain, it is best to act immediately and introduce proper spacing. This can mean tearing up the pre-existing decking and re-installing it. This may seem extreme, but it is the only way to introduce more spacing in between parallel boards without damaging the boards themselves. This can be a large project, and should only be undertaken if all other options have been explored and exhausted.
It’s easy to see why proper drainage can be overlooked, but it is also easy to see why it is so important. Water damage can quickly compromise the structural integrity of a deck and lead to repairs that are more time consuming and costly than re-laying the boards.

All in all, the best way to ensure a deck’s longevity is to just make sure the wood is taken care of. As long as you repaint or re-stain every once in a while, sand the boards when you do repaint or re-stain, and make sure water cannot pool on the wood, the deck should last a good, long time as an entertainment focus of the house. If you’re looking for a deck contractor to repair your deck, give us a call at 365-652-3321! Our team of professional builders would love to help you out.

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5 Tips for Designing Your Backyard Deck

Designing the perfect backyard deck can be both tedious and worrisome. A poorly designed deck can negatively impact the overall style of a house. Deciding the right height of the deck, materials to use and the best creative design is just the very beginning of the design process. Just choosing a material for the deck can be a challenge because of the wide range of options available. Whether a homeowner is building a wooden or composite deck , here are five tips for making the process easier.

1. Choose a material
Choosing the materials to build the deck with is the very first step in designing it because different styles of decks can only be made out of certain materials. Also, the durability of the deck has a lot to do with the materials it’s made from. Choosing to design a wood deck means that maintenance will need to be done every few years to keep it in the best shape possible. However, to avoid maintenance and ensure durability, using materials like aluminum and steel to design the deck is the better option.

Researching the materials that can be used to design a deck is crucial. For example, if it’s decided that the deck will be a wooden deck, a few of the different woods that can be used are:

  • Cedar Wood
  • Redwood
  • Exotic Hardwoods

2. Style and Size
After a material has been chosen, the next step in designing a backyard deck is deciding on the best design style and shape. This step is personal to the owner of the house and will require a creative mindset for what style of deck will suit the house the best. Many experts say to make sure the deck is no more than 20% of the house’s square footage. This is a good rule to keep in mind when the size of the deck is being decided. Researching different deck styles can help generate ideas about what options are available.

3. Design A Nice View
Designing a deck to include a nice view is a high priority for many people because it will make the deck a more inviting place to be. Designing a beautiful view from a deck will naturally attract others to use it. Be sure to remove any large railings or obstructions from the deck during the design process to ensure the best views possible.

4. Create A Lifestyle Deck
Making sure a deck matches the owner’s lifestyle is important. If the homeowner commonly throws parties and has many people over, a deck that can hold many people should be designed. If it’s more for personal use, making sure the deck includes features that will make it comfortable for the specific residents is best. The deck should match the lifestyle of the homeowner.

5. Perform Maintenance
The final tip in designing a deck for the backyard is making sure it can be maintained. Maintenance includes performing regular inspections, cleanings and stealing. It’s crucial to maintain the deck because it is an extension of the house. Be sure to design the deck so it can be conveniently maintained.

 

If you’re looking for a new deck, give us a call at 365-652-3321! Our team of professional builders would love to help you design and build your new custom deck.