RealManage Insight

4 Compelling Tips for Deck Maintenance 

by Katie Vaughan on Jul 8, 2021 9:18:00 AM

A deck is a great addition to homes and is equally gaining popularity in modern designs. It's an ideal space for hosting outdoor parties, meetings, or enjoying the fresh air. But, despite its benefits, it can be a safety hazard if poorly maintained.

Decks are exposed to harsh environmental conditions like rain, hot summers, and fluctuating humidity because they're outdoors. The deck also serves relatively high traffic, which speeds up the deterioration process. That said, it's crucial to conduct regular maintenance to keep it in top shape and keep the family and visitors safe.

Here are a few tips for deck maintenance

1. Inspect Your Deck

The first step in deck maintenance is determining the extent of damage and the general state of the structure. The inspection step offers a basis on whether you'll need technical assistance, replacements, or other improvements.

Here are a few items to focus on during the check-up

  • Possible Rotten Areas: Rotting occurs due to continued exposure to humidity or water. Rotten areas appear darker, soft, and spongy. Some of the susceptible areas include structural boards, joints, support frames, and perimeter posts.
  • Inspect Beneath the Deck: Inspect the bottom parts like joists, beams, and posts for possible rot or defective parts that need replacement.
  • Check for Protruding Nails and Cracked Sections: You can walk around the deck to listen to any squeaking sound. Make sure to note possible sagging areas or weak spots.
  • Inspect Condition of Stairs and Rails: Shake the rails mildly to identify any potential damage. You can also check for loose nails or screws and cracks around the joints.

2. Replace Weak and Rotten Parts

After identifying all the weak spots, you can start the maintenance by replacing the weak pieces of the deck. It's also crucial to replace them with the same wood species to maintain the deck's aesthetic value and strength.

If you intend to repair it as a DIY project, some of the tools you'll need include drills, a tape measure, a circular saw, a hammer, and replacement deck boards. It's also recommended that you conduct the repairs in late spring or early summer when the weather is ideal.

3. Replace Defective Nails and Screws

Nails and screws help to solidify and improve the structure of a building. A deck that is poorly maintained will have nails and screws protruding out of the board. Problematic nails are caused by extremely hot or cold weather.

One straightforward solution is nailing the popped-out nail; however, it's only a temporary solution. Instead, remove the affected nail, and replace it with a new nail in a different but close location. You can also add a duck screw next to the nail to avert a similar problem in the future.

4. Deck Clean Up

After conducting the repairs, it's crucial to conduct a thorough clean-up to eliminate all the dirt and debris. You can use a garden horse or a power nozzle to blow out any stuck debris. It's also crucial to conduct a power wash after fall or winter to clear up residue that may cause rotting in subsequent seasons.        

Test the pressure on inconsequential areas like stairs to note the potential damage. It's also advisable to use low pressure on softwoods, e.g., cedar, ideally between 500-600 pounds per square inch.      

A few cleaning tips include:

  • Schedule for a thorough clean-up once a year
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach and instead opt for oxygen bleach.
  • Cover all plants near the deck to spare them the effect of cleaning agents.

Try Our HOA Management Services

Deck maintenance is an essential process to maintain the curb appeal of a home. While skipping deck maintenance brings safety risks, it should be done within budget and professionally. A homeowners' association, therefore, needs the right partner for quality home maintenance. That said, RealManage is here to help you. We have a wide array of solutions that enhance the timely delivery of quality services. Contact us to learn about our services.  

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