If you’ve had your outdoor decking for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed the color fading, the boards wearing, and possibly even warping. Being outdoors and constantly exposed to sunlight and the elements is bad news for a deck, and without proper care and deck maintenance, the lifespan of a deck can shrink dramatically.
And even with a quality stain and sealant, the UV from the sun will inevitably fade the wood, and the decking wood’s cycle of expanding and shrinking with moisture will eventually warp it. The good news is the cost and time it takes to restore a deck is a fraction of the initial cost to build one. When you know what to look for, determining how much of your deck is damaged and what needs to be repaired is a simple process.
Take your time and examine the deck thoroughly. Be on the lookout for any evidence of rot at any place where the deck contacts the ground, as moisture seeps up from the ground and can ruin deck posts and joists. Also examine where the deck attaches to the house, looking for loose or rusted bolts, or damaged and missing flashing. Any of these signs and it’s time for major repairs.
Stained or faded wood might be handled with a deck cleaner, if they’re not too bad. For worse damage, it might be necessary to get in with a stiff brush and scrub the deck down to penetrate the top layer of wood fibers. For minor surface damage and wear, this can be all you need in preparation for a refinish, but oftentimes, the damage is far more extensive than an untrained eye can see. Your deck maintenance professional will review their process with you to get your deck looking new again.