Top tips for maintaining your deck

Decks are a great “value add” for residents, but property managers face plenty of risks—including having a deck collapse—if their deck isn’t regularly inspected and maintained. It’s happening more frequently than many property managers and homeowners realize. Between 2003 and 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 224,740 injuries caused by outdoor decks and porches. “What’s happening across this country is an epidemic at this point,” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), adding that “in most cases if a deck... read more

How do I prepare my deck for cold weather?

Basic maintenance to prep your treated wood deck for cold weather can help ensure it will endure the cold or snowy season in great shape. Thoroughly clean the decking, posts and railings using an appropriate cleaning product. If your deck boards and deck railings are made of wood and showing some wear, consider giving them a fresh coat of stain or sealant. It’s also a good idea to check for nail heads popping up, loose or damaged boards, posts, and railings. Better to repair them now so you’re only worrying about how to enjoy your outdoor living space and not spring maintenance when the... read more

How to hire the right deck builder for your decking or railing project

Adding or updating a deck to your home's outdoor living area can be a significant investment, so you’ll want to make sure you have a top notch deck builder working on your wood or composite decking project. It’s critical to make sure you hire a experienced, reputable contractor with a history of quality deck building and satisfied customers.Doing your homework will help make a good choiceGet recommendations from your friends, family and local lumberyard and then check in with the Better Business Bureau for a list of members in your area. Look for yard signs and see what work is underway in... read more

How to get rid of chalk lines on decking

Before you snap a single chalk line, make sure you've got the right type of chalk for the application. High permanence chalk lines will most likely discolor a composite deck or lumber deck surface, so I recommend using only dust off marking chalk (Irwin brand - purple is recommended by many deck builders). Never use permanent chalk to snap a line where you'll eventually be walking or where it will be viewable. If you accidentally snap a chalk line with a bright color or with a permanent chalk, immediately scrub the area with soap and hot water to help remove the stain. For stubborn chalk... read more

Make an old deck look new again. Resurface, reuse.

The easiest way to renew your pressure treated wood deck is to thoroughly clean it of dirt and debris. Also, make sure all the lumber fasteners are countersunk into the surface. Scrub rust marks and stains from the surface, then sand down any visible imperfections in the wood deck surface with a portable walk behind sander. These deck sanders make quick work when sanding wood decks and can be rented from your local equipment rental outlet.If a board's appearance can’t be revived, consider flipping the board and using the other face. If rot has set in or a plank is split, then you should... read more

How to clean and maintain composite decking and railing

Spring is the start of the outdoor living season when homeowners begin to get their deck or patio ready for outdoor entertaining. Here are some general tips for cleaning your composite deck along with types of cleaning agents best suited for washing composite decking materials.Wash and rinse your deckStart cleaning your composite decking by washing with soapy water. Start at the top of the deck railing and work your way down to the composite deck surface. It's necessary to remove the dirt and chalking that accumulates on the composite deck surface. This will also prevent the build-up of pollen... read more

Preventing mold and mildew growth on composite decking

Mold and mildew can be a nuisance on any exterior building surface, regardless of the material. If the conditions are right, they will spawn on wood, plastic, concrete, metal and other surfaces. Mold formation is most prevalent in consistently wet, shaded areas. Spores from the natural environment are carried by the wind and commonly land on decks surfaces. It is important to note that the appearance of mold and mildew is a function of nature, not necessarily a deficiency with any of the material on which it grows. Deck Cleaning Periodic washing with soap/detergent and water will help remove... read more

Natural looking dock options

If you're thinking about having a new dock built or are about to replace an existing dock, then consider two popular types of decking material—natural lumber decking and composite lumber decking. Each type of dock / deck building material has it's own unique benefits, and each has passed the test of time in unforgiving elements.   Natural Lumber Decking Pressure-treated wood decking is a great option for a tighter budget. The classic look of wood gives a more rustic feel, and can be stained or painted to match virtually any color scheme. Pressure-treated decking can be notched for installation... read more

Common deck cleaning chemicals

Whether cleaning pressure treated wood decking or synthetic / composite decking material, many of the same cleaning agents are effective on both surface types.Many deck wash/cleaners contain sodium percarbonate and a detergent, which works well on normal dirt and grime and bleaches out mold and mildew stains. An oxygen bleach-based formula is another great alternative. It's effective in removing mildew stains and the weathered grey residue from UV (sunlight) degradation. Both cleaners are environmentally safe and will not harm plants or animals, damage wood's cell structure or leave a... read more

Care and cleaning for composite decking

Since composite wood decking is low maintenance, periodic washing with soap and water will remove surface dirt and chalk that accumulate on the composite deck surface. This will also prevent the buildup of pollen and debris that can cause mold and mildew growth. Pressure washers (with fan-tip nozzle) should be used for wetting and rinsing only. Pressure washers should not be used to “blast off” soiling agents; attempting to do so can drive the dirt deeper into the composite deck boards. In most cases, applying the cleaning agent with a pump sprayer and scrubbing thoroughly with a synthetic... read more

Simple steps for cleaning a wood deck

Cleaning a pressure treated wood deck properly is pretty simple, but make sure you follow the basic steps outlined below. Following these steps will ensure the surface is cleaned properly to help bring out the natural beauty of the wood.Maintain a healthy looking deck by cleaning and sealing it periodically will defend the surface against the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, water from snow, rain and dew. This is especially true with untreated wood.Tools and chemicals used to clean a wood deck include:• Broom• Hose with spray nozzle• Power washer (wide fan nozzle-40 to 60 degree tip) • Stiff... read more

Maintain your deck with periodic washing

Decks are a wonderful place to entertain family and friends. They provide added outdoor living space and can increase the value of your property. Maintaining your treated wood deck will save you money in the long run. And having your deck cleaned periodically is very important to its beauty and longevity. Some wood decks need to be cleaned more often than others. If your treated deck is in a shady area under trees, where mildew and mold are know to thrive, you’ll probably need to clean it once a year. If you do encounter excessive mildew or mold on your deck, be sure to apply an inhibitor to... read more

Hidden deck fasteners

If you prefer the look of a deck surface without exposed nails or screw-heads, then consider using a hidden fastener system. Using hidden deck fasteners is a great way to hide unsightly screw holes in both pressure treated decking and composite wood decking. These deck accessories can be used on virtually any type of decking material, from composite wood and pressure treated wood, to tropical hardwoods. The most popular hidden fasteners are made of UV resistant plastic or metal. These hidden fasteners include Equator (made specifically for composite decking), TigerClaw, Eb-Ty and Lumber... read more

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