A hardwood deck is a good investment that can enhance your home’s value. It can also serve as a space where you spend time with family and friends. The most popular hardwood species used in making decks are Cumaru, Garapa, and Ipe. Hardwood is not maintenance-free, but it is low-maintenance. Maintenance is required to keep it looking gorgeous for as long as possible.
7 Maintenance Tips For Hardwood Decks
A newly installed hardwood deck needs proper maintenance so it can serve its purpose for a long time.
The following tips will help guide you in the maintenance of your hardwood deck so that it not only lasts longer, but its beauty is preserved as well…
1. Install your hardwood deck properly
Installing your hardwood deck properly will ensure that it lasts a long time. A proper installation helps avoid time-consuming and expensive maintenance tasks as time goes on. One of the most important factors to consider when installing a new deck is wood acclimation. Hardwood needs to acclimate to moisture content and the current temperature in a new environment.
Acclimation prevents the wood from significantly expanding and shrinking after installation. The environment that the wood is in and the type of wood used ultimately determines the time a particular hardwood would need to acclimate. Usually 7 to 14 days is sufficient for the acclimation of hardwood.
To get the best out of your hardwood deck, hire a professional to do the installation.
2. Your hardwood lumber should be pre-finished
You should have your hardwood decking finished before installing it. Pre-finishing your hardwood lumber blocks UV rays just like sunscreen does, and it helps slow the process of acclimation. This allows for a proper acclimation of the lumber, making it consistent not only on the surface but throughout its entirety.
You can either maintain the color or allow it to weather. Weathering of each board may differ depending on moisture, temperature, sunlight, and other climate changes. The sun’s UV rays can also deteriorate the color of the wood to a silver hue. However, the original color can be revived if you do not want the color it eventually weathers into.
3. Periodically refinish the lumber to maintain color
Periodic refinishing of your hardwood deck will ensure its original color is maintained. Otherwise, the wood will fade to a silvery gray color when you leave it alone.
Applying a coat of UV protection finish on the wood will help it maintain most of its physical properties.
It is recommended that you always make use of an oil-based product of high quality for your deck when you choose to refinish it. Penofin Exterior Hardwood Formula (https://www.penofin.com/wood-stains/hardwood-formula-wood-stain) is an example of such a product. If you have a change of mind after applying an oil finish, you can remove the finish using a deck stripping product.
4. Regular cleaning of your hardwood decking
Pollen, dirt, leaves, and other debris can quickly dirty your deck’s surface. However, your deck will still last a long time if you are committed to cleaning it regularly. Hardwoods are not immune to mildew and mold, but they are naturally resistant.
Regularly removing organic debris and moisture is the key to having your deck free of fungus all throughout the year. Any oil or dirt present on your deck should be removed with a cleaner.
You can buy and use “brightener” which will shine the wood and restore the pH balance it needs for its stability.
Finally, you can seal all the natural oil in the wood by applying Ipe Oil™, a hardwood finish to create a beautiful look.
5. Deep clean your deck
In addition to regular cleaning, you should do a deep clean of your hardwood once in a while. This should be done especially when you have a completely exposed deck. Do this before refinishing the wood so you get the best result. You can make a hardwood cleaning solution by mixing one-quarter powdered oxygenated bleach with a gallon of warm water. The solution you get from the mixture you make should be strong enough to remove mildew and mold. The surface should then be scrubbed with a deck brush. Thoroughly rinse and allow it to dry before an oil finish is applied. The use of the formulated cleaner solution for deep cleaning will help remove stains that cannot be removed by regular cleaning alone.
6. Pressure wash
The cleaning tips already discussed are good enough for hardwood deck maintenance, but pressure washing is necessary for removing tough stains. However, you need to be careful when pressure washing– try not to remove a substantial amount of the deck’s wood.
It takes caution and time to pressure wash your hardwood deck. Use a fan tip with the proper settings during the washing process so as not to damage the hardwood. Also, ensure that you test the pressure before you begin washing the whole deck.
7. Fix loose nails, screws, or fasteners
Wooden decks contract and expand when exposed to moisture and heat over time. This causes the screws and fasteners to loosen. Loosened boards are a safety hazard and can allow water to penetrate the surface of your decking. However, fixing these issues will make your deck last longer.
Giving attention every now and then to your hardwood deck will help make it last longer. Following the aforementioned tips should help ensure that your deck serves its function for a long time.
Need any deck work done? Call Born Carpentry of Andover, MN, at 612-747-8003.