The purpose of this article is to provide a regular maintenance guide for the owners of residential property who wish to maintain the value and integrity of their decks. The approach described here represents an annual inspection that will allow you to see what normal wear and tear looks like, so you’ll know when action needs to be taken before it’s too late.

Inspection Process

Many factors affect how often you need to inspect your deck, including weather conditions (sunny versus rainy), age of the materials used in construction, frequency of use by family members and other users, seasonal weather changes (colder winters follow milder summers) ,and whether or not trees and shrubs surrounding your deck are planted close enough to obstruct rainwater run- from. In most cases, you’ll want to inspect your deck every time you do something else like mow the lawn or rake leaves. For example, if one Saturday morning you wake up and decide it’s a good day for a yard work project, first put on some comfortable clothes then the appropriate footwear, grab your favorite garden supplies (rakes/shovels/gloves), and get started.

Depending upon what needs to be done around the house as part of this project, you might spend an hour cleaning up leaves from beneath trees near your deck while sitting in a folding chair out there enjoying the clear blue sky overhead; but then again perhaps not. However long it takes to finish this task will probably be about how often you inspect your deck when you provide regular maintenance.

Patching and Painting the Deck Structure

As previously discussed, decks can be constructed from a variety of materials (wood, composite or metal). Regardless of what specific material you have, maintaining its integrity involves periodically patching the surface where wood rot has occurred; as well as painting it to keep it looking nice and to help prevent stains. Applying paint also creates an additional barrier against moisture penetration by absorbing some rainwater before it gets down into the structure. Moreover, especially if your deck is made from wood, applying a top-coat of paint helps slow down (but doesn’t necessarily stop) wood rot caused by wet weather conditions. If cracks in the boards are too big for fillers to be effective or if they’re in high-traffic areas where it’s difficult to maintain the surface, you might choose to replace some of the wood boards as part of your annual deck inspection so those cracks only get worse over time.

At this point you’ve probably heard more than once that coatings and stains are “lifetime” products; but new evidence suggests otherwise. According to a recent study reported in The New York Times, most consumer products don’t last even 1/3rd of their promised lifetime. In many cases, paint and wood stain was tested after just one year with significant results showing both types of coating were pealing off from all sides and corners on metal surfaces like decks. This discovery sheds light into why maintenance is so important, because it suggests that a painted deck will likely deteriorate significantly in as few as 15 years. So unless you’ve been performing routine maintenance on your wood decks every year, it’s just a matter of time before the paint is gone and you are looking at raw wood which most people won’t want to maintain. Looking for deck builders in Orlando?