Restore Your Deck After A Long, Hard Winter

Posted on: 27 March 2015

Winter is a damaging season for your home. Do you have a deck that has been through a lot this year? When was the last time the deck was cleaned and sealed? Here, you will learn the proper technique for cleaning and sealing your deck to restore it to its original beauty and protect it from damage from water and sun.

Clear the Deck

Before you begin working on your deck, save yourself some time and aggravation by removing all of the furniture, plants, grills and anything else stored on the deck. The fewer things that are on the deck when you begin, the easier the process will be from start to finish.

Check the Deck

Now that the deck has been cleared, it is time to check the quality of the seal on the deck as it is. Using your hose set to a mist, spray the deck to dampen it. Give the water a few minutes to soak into the deck. If areas of the deck become a darker shade, that area doesn't repel water as it should and must be sealed as soon as possible. The area becomes darker because the water is absorbed into the wood and will soon begin to cause the wood to rot.

Inspect the deck for splintering boards and nails or screws that are lifting. If you find problem areas, make the necessary repairs. Replace any boards in poor condition and tighten any rising screws. Nails that are lifted can be pounded into place after you apply a small dab of clear nail polish to the nail hole. The fingernail polish will help keep the nail in the hole and keep it from rising again. 

Clean the Deck

One of the easiest ways to clean the deck is hiring a pressure washing contractor to come out and wash the deck; however, this can be done yourself. Be sure to purchase the appropriate wood-cleaning tip for your pressure washer. Failure to use the right tip will cause a lot of damage to your deck. If you don't own a pressure washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement store. For more information, speak with experts like Environmental Cleaning Systems.

Note: If you have never pressure washed wood before, be sure to follow the instructions that come with the pressure washer. Failure to follow the instructions exactly could cause the wood to splinter and split.

Tip: If your deck had moss or mildew growing on it, be sure to use cleaning products meant to remove the moss and mildew. This will help prevent the moss and mildew from re-growing in the same areas.

Seal the Deck

After the deck has completely dried, it is time to seal the deck. It could take your deck a few days to dry completely if you live in a moist environment or if the deck doesn't get much sun exposure. You can choose from colored sealants or clear to protect your deck, depending on how you want the deck to look when you are done.

To apply the sealant, use a brush to apply the brush to each board individually. You want to ensure that the sealant goes on in a single coat and that it does not overlap over wet sealant.

Allow the sealant to dry for a day or two and then replace all of the furniture and stuff that was previously stored on the deck.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it is much less work than replacing the deck. Still unsure that you can clean and seal your deck yourself? Contact your local contractor for assistance.