How to Maintain Your Wood Deck for a Long Life

Building a new deck is a large expense. To avoid it, many people want to know how to keep their deck in top shape, so that it can last much longer.  There are a few simple yet essential things every homeowner should know about maintaining their wooden deck. 

First of all, the simplest thing you can do to preserve your deck is keep it clean.  Make sure to sweep leaves and debris off. Leaves on your deck absorb water and trap it on the deck, which can accelerate rot.  Simply sweeping your deck on occasion will be enough to prevent this.  Also, avoid storing many things on your deck. Anything that has a large surface area touching the deck is especially likely to trap water. 

Next up, treating your deck with stain or paint is a highly effective way to greatly extend its lifespan.  We recommend stain over paint; paint is more prone to peeling and wear, while stain will soak into the wood and provide a longer-lasting barrier against the elements.  We encourage customers to re-stain their deck around every 2-3 years.  It’s also highly advisable that the deck be sanded prior to staining, so that can absorb the new coat more effectively. 

Another highly important factor is keeping a vigilant lookout for rot.  If you notice any rot on your deck, in the boards or the framing, you should immediately address the issue.  Rot quickly spreads. If one board is rotting, replacing it will prevent the rot from traveling to adjacent boards.  

Apply these tips with consistency, and you could easily add decades onto the lifespan of your deck, and save yourself the time, money and hassle of building a new deck!

Written by Jeremiah Oropeza, Crew Lead, PHM

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home improvement tips specific to Pacific Northwest homeowners