Seasonal tasks to make sure you clean your wood deck properly and catch any problems early.
Do want full waterproofing for your deck? An impermeable deck surface or an under deck drainage system? This a deep and detailed subject but here is where to start.
Follow this seasonal schedule for a healthy deck.
Below is a guide for deck maintenance that covers all the crucial areas. It is intended to help you keep your efforts to a minimum rather than embark on a costly and timely overhaul.
For many areas warm weather only lasts for about six months of the year, which means during the other six months, your deck is facing the harsh elements that come with the climatic changes from summer to winter.
This also means that in order to preserve your wooden deck, you will have to maintain it each year in some way.
Depending on your climatic conditions, the causes of deterioration may vary but generally fall within the following sources. Be sure to focus your annual deck maintenance strategy accordingly
||Moisture causes the wood to expand and when it dries out it contracts. This can cause fasteners to pop and boards to warp, crack and split. If the deck remains constantly wet, a perfect environment exists for fungus and bacteria to establish itself and that is when rot begins. In a worst case scenario, wet rot will result in wood members turning to mush over time.||Sweeping your deck regularly, clearing away puddles, dirt and leaves that retain moisture and don't dry out easily.|
||Ultra violet rays can break down the bonds between wood cells. Fortunately, sun damage isn't as serious as water damage because the rays only penetrate about 1/100th of an inch into the wood, really only affecting the surface. The interesting thing is that this damaged surface actually protects the healthy wood below and if you sand it away the fresh wood exposed will become damaged.||The best deck maintenance for a wood deck in a sunny area is a good coat of sealant or stain. Oils tend to be the most durable.|
||Cedar and redwood are insect resistant but not insect proof. There is a difference.||The best material for decking that is near soil where there are insects is pressure and marine treated lumber.|
At the beginning of each season be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of your deck.
Check where joists contact beams and where the beams contact posts.
Annual deck maintenance isn't complete without examining the posts and concrete footing contact points as these areas are particularly prone to moisture.
This requires a bit of a surgical approach sometimes as you may have to only remove one rotting board tucked in tightly among other deck boards.
A circular saw and a sharp chisel are required for this kind of work. The saw won't entirely cut across the decking without damaging the next board.
So, finish the cut with a sharp chisel.
Annual deck maintenance should be an annual routine. It will help you keep on top of things and then you will never have to do a major overhaul.
If you incorporate annual deck maintenance into your routine you'll spend just a little extra time each spring or fall maintaining it and more time enjoying it!
Springtime is a great time to get a refresher on the basics of cleaning your deck.
A discussion about the importance of pressure washing your deck carefully so that you don't destroy the wood deck boards.
If you have cleaned your deck thoroughly, finishing is the next step.
Good question. There are several types of deck stains available and each offer different benefits.
Are you facing the dilemma of waterproofing a wood deck after it has been built? There are several ways to create a waterproof deck. There are either coatings, membranes or physical catchment systems like eavestroughs or elaborate under deck systems. Each have their own benefits and drawbacks.
|Surface Coatings||Just as it sounds you cover the deck surface with a liquid material and it becomes an impermeable layer. But it won't work directly on gapped boards. You have to cover the boards with tongue and groove plywood, glued and screwed to the deck. See More!|
|Waterproof Membrane||Membranes are solid sheets of waterproof material that are adhered down onto surfaces much like flooring. The decking industry uses a lot of durable vinyl flooring which originated in the boating industry to seal the inside deck of a boat. See More!|
|Locking Decking||A concept that is proven is to use extruded aluminum planks that replace wooden boards. These extrusions lock together and can have a textured, or profiled surface which stops water from dripping down and channels it to the perimeter of the deck if the slope is correct. See More!|
|Under Deck Systems||Thankfully some very talented people have spent a lot of time working out all the details of making a wood deck waterproof. They all are based on physically catching water under the deck with panels that act like a big eaves trough. See More!|
Fiberglass decking material is a reliable alternative to other waterproof deck coatings. It is also hard and very durable.
Duradek is a rolled waterproof membrane made of PVC. It has over fifty years of thermal plastic proven technology behind it and is a proven roofing/waterproof membrane.
A TRUE WATERPROOFING EXPERT
Bill Leys is the owner of Central Coast Waterproofing and has deep knowledge about all the different types of waterproofing options for decks, balconies, porches, concrete floors, rooftops and more.
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