When it comes to home maintenance, being proactive is always your best bet. This rings particularly true when it comes to anything on the exterior of your home. Your deck, for example, faces daily wear and tear from the elements without relief. Snow, rain, sun, not to mention other uncontrollable elements, such as insects, can take a visible toll on your deck, which is why it’s imperative to develop a thorough and effective routine for maintenance.
If your deck is wood:
- Seal it. This will protect your deck from extremes of weather, and prevent future warping and fading of your wood. Be sure to seal pressure treated wood as well.
- Sweep on a regular basis. If left unkempt, debris like dust, leaves and dirt from your potted plants run the risk of staining the wood. Don’t let it get to that point; take a broom to your deck as often as possible.
- Of course, short of covering the entire structure with a tarp, you can’t really protect your deck from all moisture, but you can try to minimize the damage. Shovel your deck regularly after snowfall.
- Replace tarnished, rotted or warped wood as soon as you can.
If your deck is vinyl:
- Sweep regularly and pay special attention to debris stuck in the cracks between the boards.
- Give it a proper rinse. Use a garden hose to give the vinyl a thorough power cleaning. That said, after rinsing, always check that there’s no pooling water left that could result in rust, mold and mildew.
- Use a cleaning agent on stubborn stains and tackle said stains as soon as you notice them. Remove rust spots with a cleaner that contains oxalic acid.