Bob Vila Radio: 3-Step Deck Maintenance Anyone Can Do

If you want your wood deck to stand the test of time, you must at the very least commit to a basic, annual care routine consisting of three simple steps.

Do you spend countless happy hours on your wood deck every summer? Then why not give it the same love and attention you give the rest of your home? Even pressure-treated wood requires routine care. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Deck Maintenance Tips

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Listen to BOB VILA ON WOOD DECK MAINTENANCE or read below:

At least once a year, combine deck-cleaning solution with a jet stream of water to wash your deck, top to bottom. Be careful with pressure washers, though; when set on high, their force gouges wood, giving a head start to mold and wood rot. Also, be careful not to let the deck-cleaning solution reach nearby plantings. Cover any delicate landscaping with a tarp before you begin.

Afterward, after allowing enough time for the deck to dry out thoroughly, go ahead and take the next step: Apply a protective deck sealant. Opt for a synthetic sealant instead of an oil-based one, if you can; the former better resists mildew and algae. Why sealant and not paint? Paint tends not to last as long, at least not in high-traffic areas.

Finally, lay down rugs to prevent wear and tear from sliding chairs and such. Make it a point to choose synthetic rugs specially designed for outdoor use. Why? When exposed to the elements, natural-fiber rugs trap moisture, get moldy, and invite rot to eat away at the underlying deck boards.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!