Wear and tear on your deck is bound to happen, but there are ways to protect your deck from the sun to preserve it’s quality. Read on for three essential deck maintenance tips.
On average, Ventura County sees 272 days of sunshine a year-well over the national average. While these weather conditions make the city a beautiful place to live, there are some drawbacks to sunny days.
You may appreciate the warm sun on your skin, but without the proper protection, you’ll begin to notice some damage. The same holds true for your deck. Without constant maintenance and care to protect your deck, it may become gray, weathered, and unappealing.
Fortunately, maintenance is much simpler than you imagine. With these three deck maintenance tips, you can prevent damage from the sun and keep your deck looking fresh throughout the year.
Deck Maintenance Tip #1: Waterproofing System Included
Whether it is a concrete or plywood deck, a waterproofing system should be applied to prevent the deck from the exposure to sun and rain. The waterproofing system includes a layer of metal lath and one or two coats of modified concrete or polyurethane. The pitch of the deck should be examined to make sure the deck is draining water away from the door threshold.
A properly installed waterproofing system can last 10 to 30 years depending on regular deck maintenance to protect your deck, the environment and the amount of traffic. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right waterproofing system. For best results, contact a professional who has the experience and knowledge and can get the job done according to manufacturer’s recommendation.
Tip #2: Finishing/Coating the Deck
When sun-proofing your deck, your first line of defense is the finishing or coating you apply. The stain or coating material you use adds more than just aesthetic value. When you leave the surface of your deck unprotected, especially the surface of a wooden deck, damage is inevitable. UV radiation can cause damage to the lignin, or binding substance, of the material.
There are a variety of finishing materials that can keep your deck protected. Here are a few of the best:
- Acrylic Coating. This product leaves your plywood or concrete deck resistant to cracking, peeling, and blistering.
- Urethane Coating. You can use this product for concrete and plywood decks as well. With urethane coating, you protect your deck from staining and other sun-related damages.
Of course, before you apply a new finishing to your deck, you’ll want to prep the area. Remove any old coatings or stains, clean the wood, and then apply the sealant. For best results, contact a professional who has the experience and can get the job done quickly.
Deck Maintenance Tip #3: Regular Rot Inspections
Once you’ve done what you can towards deck maintenance, you’ll still want to perform regular inspections. In most cases, you can manage damages fast, and without spending too much, when you catch them early on. Rot occurs most often in cases where water has damaged the surface of the deck.
So, performing the above maintenance steps should reduce the risk. However, you should still take the time to examine the wood for rotten boards. Be sure to check hard-to-see areas like the underside of stairs and areas close to the house.
If you find that the rot is less than 1/2″ deep, it’s likely that you can save the board. Clean the area and reapply the finishing to stop the rot in its tracks.
The Sooner You Get Started on Deck Maintenance, the Better
Since Ventura County is a region that sees sunshine year-round, there’s no time like the present to sun-proof your deck. The time and money you invest today can save you in heartache and money down the road.
Simply take the time to finish or coat your deck, clean and brighten the surface, and perform regular rot inspections. By doing so, you can ensure that your deck has a long life.
If your deck wasn’t installed correctly from the start, you would likely need to hire a professional contractor. For example, if your deck isn’t sloped away from your house, that could be major reconstruction to add a slight angle for the runoff. Or if you find rotting joists and plywood, that may also be an issue that’s beyond DIY.
You can save some money by doing minor deck repair but call in the pros for the big jobs.