When we replaced our windows earlier this Winter, our contractor took a close look at our deck and advised us to clean it as soon as the rains stopped. So it was a timely reminder to read about some essential deck maintenance tips in Holmes: The Magazine to Make It Right.
If you suspect that your deck needs basic maintenance, Mike Holmes advises looking out for the following:
- Green or Black Spots: "Look above and below boards. The spots indicate mildew and mold. If you find spots, clean and treat the surface ASAP, but do not use a pressure cleaner; it can damage the deck."
- Gray Boards: "If the boards are losing color, it’s a sign of sun damage. To avoid cracking and splitting, put on a new coat of protective sealant."
- No Water Beading: "If rain soaks directly into the boards instead of beading up, it’s time to apply a water-and mildew-repellent stain."
Worried that your deck may need replacing? Read on to find out the telltale signs!
Here's what may indicate that your deck needs replacing:
- Decay: "If you have any boards that seem soft and spongy (test by sticking with a screwdriver) the wood is rotting. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may only need to have a section replaced."
- Detached Ledger Board: "This beam, where the deck meets your house, is the most common source of failure. Check to see if there’s a wide gap between it and your home, and whether any bolts have loosened or nails have popped out."
- Inadequate Railings: "Most communities now require at least a 3-foot-high railing (and many areas encourage going up to 4-foot height) with posts no wider than 4-inches apart."
Read more tips in Holmes: The Magazine to Make It Right.