Caring for your deck is a must if you plan to enjoy outdoor entertaining all year round. Keeping it clean and free of algae, moss, and mildew will reduce the chances of unpleasant surprises in the summer months. That said, a well-cared-for deck can look fabulous no matter what time of year it is on display. You can do a few basic things to ensure that your entertaining outdoor space stays clean and free of mold and mildew.
Deck construction and design are different today than it was ten years ago. We at MidAtlantic Contracting, one of the professional deck builders in Virginia, suggest that you either pressure wash your deck or use a stiff scrub brush and soapy water. If you are planning a big outdoor event, it’s generally a good idea to pressure wash your deck the day before so the wood stays dry ahead of time. It will prevent the wood from warping or cracking due to shrinking when it dries out.
How to Care for Your Deck for Year-Round Outdoor Entertaining
1. Clean the deck.
We recommend cleaning your wood deck using a mildew cleaner such as TSP. It is safe for most wood types, but if you’re worried about your deck being damaged by the cleaner, you can use a mild bleach solution instead. However, don’t let the bleach sit on the wood for too long, or it will damage it. Pressure washing is another way to clean your deck quickly and effectively. When pressure washing your deck, set the nozzle low to prevent damage to the wood.
2. Prevent mold and mildew.
Use a deck de-mister to rid your deck of mold and mildew. It blows the breathable mildew air into your deck while keeping warm, clean air inside. The warmer air will kill the mold and mildew cells, and you’ll have cleaner air circulating through the deck. Mold and mildew aren’t just unsightly: they are also dangerous. Mold and mildew can be tough to treat and may lead to respiratory problems in some people. One way to prevent the spread of mold is to clean the deck when you take down your Christmas decorations.
3. Keep the deck dry during winter months.
It would help if you keep the deck dry during winter months when there is a chance of frozen ground or ice forming. We recommend covering it with a tarp when you aren’t using it or using a quality deck stain or sealer to protect the wood from the elements.
4. Keep your deck healthy.
Regularly applying a deck sealant is a good idea, especially when you want to keep the wood looking its best for an extended period. Use an excellent semi-transparent stain, such as an oil-based varnish, to protect the wood and make it look great for a long time. Only use stain if you’re planning to refinish the deck.
5. Canvas your deck in the summer.
Hire a company to build a canvas. Remove all furniture, toys, flower planters, and other items that can pose a safety risk if they fall over. It will allow you to apply a paint color and stain to the wood that complements its surroundings. Using landscape fabric instead of some items that can get your way is also a good idea. You can sit out on the deck without worrying about falling objects.
6. Cover your deck down in the winter.
It is also essential to remove your wood deck in the winter months. Cover it with a tarp or leave it under a tarp during the winter, so you don’t have to worry about ice forming on it. When you remove your wood deck, make sure there aren’t any signs of mold and mildew still attached to it.
A clean, well-cared-for deck is just a tool you must enjoy if you want to maintain it for year-round entertainment. If you apply these simple steps when cleaning or maintaining your deck your entertaining outdoor space should be in good shape for years of enjoyment.
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