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Deck Maintenance Checklist

Decks not only provide the perfect gathering place for friends and family, but they can also increase your home’s value. These benefits make deck installation a popular upgrade for many homeowners. But without a proper maintenance plan, your dream deck will quickly become a major headache — and a potential eyesore. Here’s a guide to help you keep your deck in great shape for years to come:

DIY Deck Maintenance

Maintaining your deck doesn’t always require professional assistance. In many cases, keeping your wood in good shape is enough to ensure your deck’s long-term health.

Most homeowners install wooden decks for their appearance, versatility and cost-effectiveness. An annual wood sealing will prevent splintering and discoloration. It’s also important to examine your decking for loose boards and nails.

You should clean your deck regularly. In some cases, it may be necessary to hose down the deck and surrounding area before applying a cleaning solution. Allow the solution to sit and then rinse the deck. If you’re unsure, ask a professional which solution will work best for your deck’s material.

Hiring a Pro to Maintain a Deck

Neglected or damaged decking will require the expertise of a professional. Replacing rotten wood can be a big job — especially when it involves load-bearing columns or joists. Though handy homeowners might still opt to do this work themselves, many find that hiring a pro is well worth it.

Building a New Deck

Modern decking is available in a variety of materials. Plastic and composite lumber will reduce your yearly maintenance, but both materials come with a higher price tag than traditional wood. Tropical hardwoods like Ipe are also becoming popular. Not only do these products provide the look and feel of natural wood, but they also require less maintenance and last longer than conventional lumber. Ipe and other tropical hardwoods are dense and sometimes require specialized installations. Hire an experienced deck builder if you’re considering exotic hardwoods.

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