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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Hard landscaping in Ireland, Garden Features (Paths, Patios, Paving, Decking, Walls etc)

Proper Maintenance for Your Deck Will Keep the Love Strong

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:42 pm    Post subject: Proper Maintenance for Your Deck Will Keep the Love Strong Reply with quote

Proper Maintenance for Your Deck Will Keep the Love Strong
By Denton Lesslie

Photo / pic / image of deck cleaning, treatment, staining and sealing.

Decks are a very popular, simple and cost effective way to extend the living space of your home.
Your deck should make it enjoyable to spend time outside, day or night.
They also add to the home and extend the entertainment and outdoor dining.

Like everything else around your home decks are subject to the damaging effects of moisture and prolonged exposure to the elements.
A deck that is not cared for properly often turns a dull grey color.
The degradation is caused by dirt, moss, algae, and plant debris.
This soon begins to break down the surface of the planks. Splinters form, creating a rougher surface that is even more inviting to dirt and plants.
Before long, you have a dingy deck that's treacherous when wet and riddled with splinters.

Basic Deck Maintenance

1. Look at the Deck

Take a good hard look at your deck every year or two.
Look for any loose boards that need repair or any screws/nails sticking up.

2. Get the deck ready

Clear the deck of everything and cover or remove plants.
Sweep the deck surface pretty well.
Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure no children or animals are in the area.

3. Deck Cleaning

You must thoroughly clean the entire surface of the deck.
You have to remove the debris clogging the spaces between the boards.
They can be blasted out with a powerful nozzle on a garden hose or a low powered pressure washer.
The water will also dilute any chemicals that will come come into contact with plants and/or grass.
Products that have a non-chlorine bleach base are used to neutralize discoloration and stains.
Bleach-based products kill mildew, while acid-based materials handle the stains.
But, be aware that bleach can also leave the wood with a washed-out look. Any home improvement store should have these.

Be sure to read the cleaning solution directions and warnings thoroughly.
The solutions can usually be brushed onto the deck using a broom or it can be sprayed on with a power washer under low pressure.
In general, the more powerful the chemical, the less scrubbing will be necessary.
Scrubbing can be done by hand using a basic scrub brush or a push broom.
After waiting the directed length of time for the chemicals to do their work, thoroughly rinse the deck.

4. Sealing your Deck

After the area is dry, it is time to seal the deck.
First, cover everything that you want to protect from the sealant.
The level of protection depends in part on the application of the sealant. Sealant can be brushed on, rolled on with a paint roller, or sprayed on. Spraying is the fastest, but this is also the get everywhere.
And, some sealants have color in them and will stain surfaces that are over sprayed.
There are many adverse effects to getting sealing on plant and other surfaces. Sealants come in either water- or oil-based formulas.
Professionals use the oil- based sealants.
You can get sealants than contain stain to tint the color of the deck.
Sealants with stain can deliver a non uniform color application across the wood, so try it first in a not too seen spot to guarantee results will match your expectations.

Denton Lesslie is the president of

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Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We put a deck in just over 5 years ago, the chap that installed it said to leave it for the first year and then stain it the second year,
Every year since we have had to restain the deck, following the above instruction to the word, our deck is also quiet large and to give the deck and the railings 2 coats it takes nearly 6 of the larger tins of stain which are not cheap at 55 euro each.
I have just finished doing it again taking nearly 3 full days of work, so does any one have any suggestions on how I can avoid having to do this again next year? Is there any sort of protective coating that I could use ?
Thanks in advance
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Co. Meath

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may not be helpful to you, but it might give you hope in your search. I was at Belvedere House a few weeks ago for the Home and Garden show. Someone there was working a stand with materials for that very purpose, claiming anual maintenance was out the window using their product (But don't they all say that anyway!), I'm afraid I didn't take too much notice as I don't have a deck, so I don't know the name of the company.

Earth is the insane asylum of the Universe.
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