how to maintain a wood deck

When warm weather comes around, nothing beats relaxing on your deck with a cold drink. However, the dirt and debris make for an ugly spectacle. Plus, you don’t need another list of chores keeping you from relaxing weekends with tasty Texan barbecue.

Regular deck maintenance keeps your wood decking strong and beautiful. If you want to know how to maintain a wood deck, turn to the experts. As leading contractors for wood decks in San Antonio, TX, our team at All Pro Decks & Patios knows the best practices to follow when providing maintenance services. Continue reading to learn about our deck maintenance process.  

Inspection

First, our experts should perform an inspection to ensure your deck’s safety and structural integrity. We’ll check your deck for the following types of damage:

  • Mold
  • Warped boards
  • Splintering boards
  • Unstable structures
  • Water damage
  • Missing or loose hardware

Then, we’ll take inventory of what needs replacement and repair.

We will also check for weak spots that you may not see. After a thorough inspection, we’ll collect the supplies needed to begin the maintenance process. 

Board Replacement

Our professionals will remove any damaged planks from your deck by pulling the nails to loosen the boards. Then, we’ll measure and cut new planks to fit. Once we have prepared the planks, we will nail them securely to the frame.

Sometimes, your deck frame and structure also need replacement boards. Our contractors have that covered too. We’ll also check for loose nails, screws, or bolts, replacing or tightening them as needed.

Property owners can easily miss these small details. You might only detect the damage that meets the eye. With professional contractors, you don’t have to worry about loose or raised nails snagging on clothing or skin. 

board replacement

Cleaning

After replacing all damaged boards and hardware, the next step involves a thorough cleaning. Our contractors will remove all furniture, plants, grills, and other accouterments from the deck surface. Then, we’ll connect a pressure washer to a garden hose.

We use a special solution of the industry’s best cleaning products to complete the task. These cleansers remove and prevent the growth of algae, lichens, mold, and other hidden growths that might thrive on your deck. The process also removes dirt and debris that coats the wood’s surface, leaving your deck looking as good as new. 

After cleaning the deck thoroughly, our contractors allow the surface to dry completely. This can take a few days, depending on the weather. However, San Antonio’s naturally dry weather usually makes short work of this process. 

Scraping

If you had your deck painted or stained previously, our professionals will scrape the old coat off of your deck’s surface. This ensures no large chips or chunks of paint get in our way throughout the other steps. It also reveals your deck’s bare surface and plays an important role in how to maintain a wood deck properly. 

Sanding

Next, our contractors will sand the wood’s surface. Sanding is an important part of deck maintenance and prep. It prevents splinters from forming in the future, leaving a smooth surface on which you can comfortably walk.

It also prepares the wood to absorb the stain and sealant. Your deck will have a more intense stain that lasts longer. The waterproofing sealant will also have a more potent, longer-lasting effect on your wood.  

Staining

When our contractors stain your deck, they’ll use your input to select a superior staining product. Stain adds a deep, intense color to your deck’s surface, making the wood look fresh and new.

It also protects your deck from the hot Texan sun. Since the sun only touches the deck surface, the underside may not require it. We often recommend pressure-treated wood since it resists sun damage from all angles.

Our professionals will carefully apply each coat, ensuring even, precise brushstrokes across the entire deck. Our attention to detail ensures your deck will have an even finish. We make sure that the stain reaches all the tiny spaces and fissures on the surface.

Once the entire surface has an even coat of stain, it dries for one or two days. As the stain dries, it also cures, sealing in its protective properties. Our professionals usually add two full coats to ensure the wood completely absorbs as much as it needs. 

deck staining

Sealing

Finally, our contractors will seal the deck with a waterproof sealant. While the stain prevents sun damage, the sealant prevents water from seeping into the wood’s porous surface. This step increases your deck’s longevity and strength for years to come.

Some property owners want to skip this step since San Antonio doesn’t get much rain each year. However, sealing provides the necessary protection against the rain we do get. It works with staining to keep your deck in great condition. 

Other Maintenance Tips

In between spring cleanings for your deck and other outdoor areas, you can implement the following routine to make professional maintenance routines last longer:

  • Switch up your patio furniture and potted plants occasionally. This prevents rot from developing in one spot. 
  • Sweep your deck regularly to remove damaging and erosive debris.
  • Opt for synthetic, waterproof rugs instead of ones made from natural materials. Natural materials degrade more quickly, decomposing your patio with them. 
  • Self-inspect occasionally for loose boards or errant nails. Pick up any pieces of fallen hardware to prevent injuries. 

Remember that stain can typically last up to five years when applied by a professional. Deck sealer can last up to three years or less. Have our professionals inspect your deck each year to ensure it doesn’t need reapplication.

Get the Most Out of Your Deck, Patio, or Porch with San Antonio’s Deck Professionals

If you want to know more about how to maintain a wood deck, get in touch with our deck construction contractors at All Pro Decks & Patios in San Antonio, TX. During your free estimate, we’ll describe each step of the process as it applies to your deck. We’ll also recommend specific deck treatments that work with the wood’s light exposure.

Call us at (210) 934-2437 today!