When you have a deck built next to your home, it's a significant investment that you'll want to last as long as possible. While hiring the right deck contractor can ensure that the structure is properly built to stand the test of time, there are a number of simple steps and projects that you can handle yourself to add to the deck's longevity. Here are some ideas of things that will help you enjoy your deck in good condition for years.
Avoid Keeping Plants On The Deck
While many people enjoy keeping potted plants on their decks, this visual element has a downside concerning the deck's longevity. When you water your potted plants, some water will inevitably splash over the edges of the pot or seep down through the pot and pool on the deck below. It's not that your deck can't handle water — it's fine in the rain, after all — but the issue is the presence of the pot. When the water sits under the pot, it won't dry quickly because it isn't exposed to the sun. Over time, frequent occurrences of this nature can lead to the wood below the pots rotting, which can require you to replace at least some of the deck boards prematurely.
Refinish The Boards Regularly
A deck is something that should be regularly maintained for longevity. This can mean either hiring a deck contractor to refinish the wood when the need arises or handling this job yourself. Whatever the case, the deck's surface boards will need to be sanded when their paint or stain begins to flake or wear, and then refinished with the appropriate paint or stain. The type of product you use, your weather conditions, and even the deck wood can influence the necessity of the frequency of this task, but it's generally something that will need to be done every few years.
Keep The Surface Clean
In the fall, leaves will land on your deck and might even cover it. This might seem innocuous, but can threaten the longevity of the deck. The leaves will hold moisture from the rain, which means that they're essentially keeping the deck boards wet around the clock. This can speed up the likelihood of rot. The simple solution is to grab a broom and sweep the leaves off the deck. If you have children, this is a job that you can assign them so that they're also taking ownership of the structure on which they enjoy plenty of time during the summer.
For more deck care tips, contact a company like Robert G Miller Inc.