How to Maintain Your Backyard Deck

Perform repairs right away to minimize further damage
Read Time: 4 minutes
Nov 21, 2022

A backyard deck can be a great addition to your home. Not only does it add value should you be looking to sell but a deck can also improve your own time living in the home by providing an entertainment space. But in order to get the most out of your deck, in terms of both enjoyment and value, you’ll need to keep it in good condition. Follow these steps to maintain your deck so it looks good for as long as possible.

Step #1

Clean Your Deck Regularly

a homeowner with a push broom sweeping leaves off of a deck

Your deck should be cleaned frequently. At least once a week, check your deck for leaves and twigs and dirt. These regular cleanings don’t need to be terribly thorough. Just take a broom and push the leaves and other debris off of your deck. If you let this sit on your deck, it could result in wood rot, mold, and discoloration.

Step #2

Thoroughly Clean Your Deck Yearly

a man standing on a partially-cleaned wooden deck cleaning it with a pressure washer

Although a more thorough cleaning isn’t necessary on a weekly basis, you’ll still want to do a deeper cleaning at least once a year. You’ll want to actually use a proper cleaner on your deck. Make sure to look for one that is designed for the type of material used to build your deck. Ideally, this cleaner should be one that targets mold and mildew and can prevent it from building up on your deck.

Use a Pressure Washer

Depending on your deck, you might be able to use a pressure washer to clean it. Check with your contractor that it’s safe to do so first, though. If you do use a pressure washer, use the lowest setting.

Step #3

Inspect Your Deck

Regular inspections are a great way to catch problems early before they become bigger and more expensive to repair. You can inspect it yourself, but it’s a good idea to have a professional do the inspection periodically. This is because a contractor will have the expertise to notice problems that homeowners might miss.

Have Your Deck Annually Inspected

Once a year is generally enough to catch damage early. However, if there’s a big storm, you might want to inspect your deck right afterwards.

Step #4

Perform Repairs as Needed

a wooden deck with damaged planks near a pillar

If you notice any damage to your deck, it’s a good idea to make any needed repairs as quickly as possible. If it’s left un-repaired, the damage might get worse and then cost more to repair. Additionally, because your deck has people walking on it, people could get injured if you don’t keep it in good condition.

Replace Damaged Boards

Replacing broken deck boards may be the easiest way to repair damage to your deck.

Step #5

Stain Your Deck

a woman wearing jeans and a plaid shirt applying stain to a wooden backyard deck

If the color of your deck has faded over time, then you’ll need to re-stain it to get it back to its original color. Staining typically needs to be done every two to three years. However, if the color on your deck has faded significantly due to weather, then you may need to re-stain it sooner. The stain doesn’t necessarily have to be the same color as before, if you’d rather try out a new color.

Sand Your Deck First

If you’re going to re-stain your deck, you’ll need to sand off the previous stain so you’ll have a fresh canvas on which to work.

Step #6

Protect Your Deck with Sealant

water beading on a freshly sealed deck after a rainstorm

Whether you’ve stained your deck again or not, you should also put sealant on the boards of your deck. Sealant helps to make your deck more weather-resistant and can protect it from water damage that could cause mold and mildew to grow.

Reseal Your Deck Every Three Years

You should reapply sealant at least every three years. If your deck gets a lot of foot traffic, you may want to reseal it annually.

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