deck patio porchWith the summer season in full swing, it is time for you to conduct some deck maintenance and improve its appearance.  It does not matter which material your deck uses. Vinyl, wood or composite, whatever it is, you must maintain it regularly so that it looks attractive and serves the purpose. Plus, this also ensures that all little repairs are dealt with in a timely manner and do not turn into major ones.

We talked to some home designing experts about deck maintenance and here is what they advised.

Conduct an inspection

Inspect your deck properly and look around for any damaged railings or boards. You may come across lose nuts, bolts or protruding nails. Tighten up the loose nuts and bolts and remove the protruding nails, fixing screws in their place.

If your deck is wooden, you can sand away any of the splintered boards and they will appear smooth again.

Clean the deck

Once you are through with the inspection, you can begin cleaning your deck. Sweep it, removing all dust particles. At times, debris also accumulates in the board gaps. You can remove this with a knife or a brush with a stiff bristle.

Vinyl decks can be made to shine with a mild soapy substance. For wooden and composite decks, you will need an effective cleaning product. Do this at a time when the sun is not falling directly on your deck. Be sure to follow the instructions given on the back of the label.

Apply a sealant

A sealant is not required for vinyl and composite decks. In the case of a wooden one, you should seal it after you have cleaned it. Generally, doing this once a year should be more than enough. Whenever required, re-stain the deck. On an average, you will need to do this after two or three years depending on the sun exposure and amount of traffic.

There are a number of finishing options which you can go for. The most popular ones are outlined blow.

  • Sealer just adds an extra coat, and allows the original color to show through.
  • Toner slightly modifies the shade, but the natural wood color is still prevalent.
  • A semi-transparent stain gives a slight tint to the wood, but the grain shows.
  • A solid stain is similar to paint, and neither shows the original wood color nor the grain. However, it offers a complete protection.

Source: www.realestate.aol.com

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