7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Deck

You just added a new deck to your house. What a great investment – and you’re in for loads of fun and good memories! What are some ways to extend the life of your deck? Let’s take a look at keeping your deck clean, safe, and in good repair.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who need to find a great backyard contractor or deck contractor in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties.

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

1. Protect Your Deck’s Frame and Substructure

Your deck might be made of composite, like Trex, or it might be constructed of wood. Either way, pressure-treaded pine is likely used to make your deck substructure. Although it’s pressure treated, the wood is still susceptible to weather elements, such as fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels. It is important to notice how this can change and affect your deck’s frame.

deck frame

Over time, wood can warp from the temperature variations. Additionally, wet conditions can cause issues such as mold build-up. Mold can turn into a big problem like creating rot. Protect this area using deck flashing tape, like Trex Protect. Using deck flashing tape is one of the smartest – and easiest – decisions you can make to extend the life of your deck.

Related: How To Hire a Great Deck Contractor in Los Angeles

2. Replace any Rotted Wood

Pay special attention to places in your deck’s structure, like where less air is circulating. This would be where your deck boards cross over a joist or are near a beam. Water tends to get trapped in those areas, thus causing wood rot. Check your ledger boards at the sides, too.

rotten wood on deck

If you see any discolored or darker areas of wood, try gently pushing a screwdriver in. You probably have rotted wood if it penetrates more than ¼ to ½ of an inch. Replace rotted wood with new wood, or if a limited area, using wood filler may be possible.

3. Keep Railings in Good Shape

Make sure your deck railings are up to par. A seating bench affixed to the edge of your deck is no substitute for a deck railing! Railings must be 36 inches in height, with the balusters (vertical poles) spaced no more than four inches apart.

deck railing

According to NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association), guardrails and handrails must withstand over 200 pounds of force applied in any place and direction. The balusters should be able to stand up to 50 pounds of pressure applied per square inch.

4. Check the Stairs

Speaking of stairs, ensure the steps and the risers are in good repair. See to it there are no loose boards or rotted wood, and the handrails are firmly-fastened. Consider installing safety strips on your deck stairs to prevent slipping. Additionally, increasing your lighting in this area will help people navigate the steps at night. Safety first!

old deck stairs

5. Pay Attention to Fasteners and Deck Screws

Don’t forget your deck hardware. Every so often a rusted screw or a vital fastener goes unchecked. This can cause a number of things to go wrong. Deck screws are much safer and more widely used than nails. Nails can come loose due to wood expansion from temperature changes and moisture retention. A grooved screw will hold the deck together better and longer than nails.

bad deck screw

6. Cleaning is Important

It’s crucial to keep your deck clean. Not only does it make your deck more attractive and inviting, but it will also help you spot any potential problems you may encounter later. Failure to discover things like bad wood, rusted hardware, and any significant stains, like mildew, can cost a lot more down the road.

deck cleaning supplies

Also, don’t forgo checking under furniture and your barbecue grill for grime build-up. Besides, ensuring your outdoor oasis looks beautiful and well-maintained will show your friends and neighbors you care about your house, yard, and deck’s appearance.

Related: 7 Trending Exterior Projects To Consider For Next Summer

7. Potential to Stain, Seal, or Paint

Clean composite decks regularly. Seal wooden decks after cleaning. You can also stain or paint if you so choose; each has benefits and drawbacks. A lot of it depends on how you intend to use your deck, your outdoor lifestyle, and the amount of time you would like to devote to the upkeep of your deck. Sealing, staining, and painting all will protect your deck to different degrees.

painting deck

The Bottom Line

We would recommend you take some time to research the best ways to preserve your outdoor investment – top to bottom. Most people who use their decks and outdoor space are nature lovers or, at the very least, appreciate fresh air. Ensuring your backyard deck area looks good and is maintained well will give you years of rewarding activities and enjoyment.

Gorgeous and sunny weather keeps us outside. Yet, on occasion, temperatures will fluctuate, and harsh weather takes over. Protecting your deck’s surface and supporting structure is tantamount to its safety and sustainability. Keeping your deck clean year-round, routinely checking problem areas, and being mindful of any changes will ensure you have a well-maintained deck for a long time to come!

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened patio and deck contractors and provides project support from start to finish.

 

Call now to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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