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How to Care For your Backyard Deck

Backyard deck maintenance Niagara

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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