Regardless of whether you’ve built a new deck from scratch or just repainted and repaired an old one, there are plenty of things you can do to keep it looking its best. From sanding and repairing to applying stain and sealant, here are a few tips:
Whether you have a wood deck or a concrete patio, cleaning your outdoor space is an important part of maintaining your deck. You want your deck to be a safe and inviting place for family and friends to spend time. Cleaning your deck helps keep it free from stains and dirt.
First, you need to assess the condition of your deck. This includes checking for stains, debris, and algae. If your deck is not in good condition, you may need a stronger cleaner. For example, if it is heavily stained, you can use an oxalic acid-based cleaner. However, this is only effective if it is diluted correctly.
There are many deck cleaners available. Some contain nontoxic ingredients. But you should be careful of those that contain chlorine bleach.
Other ingredients include baking soda, which is a natural cleaning agent that can remove odors from your deck. It also acts as a brightener. Wear protective eyewear and long pants when applying this product.
The best deck cleaner is one that works well on the type of stain you have. Oxiclean and Defy Wood Brightener are two examples of products that are good for different kinds of wood.
You can buy a deck cleaner at a local hardware store. Some of these products even come in spray bottles. These are easy to use, and you can use a garden hose to rinse them off.
Another way to clean your deck is to mix a solution of baking soda and vinegar. When mixed, it creates a bubbling effect that breaks up the grime. Baking soda is all-natural, which is ideal if you have children or pets around.
Sanding decks is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your deck. It’s a good way to reveal rot and loose rails. Plus, it opens the door to more protective coatings. But sanding a deck can be expensive and time-consuming, so be sure to do it wisely.
Before attempting any type of sanding, you should check the moisture content of the wood. Ideally, it should be in the 15 to 18 percent range. If you’re not sure, a moisture meter is an answer.
A good way to get the most out of your sanding endeavor is to use a sanding tool that’s made for the job. For example, a random orbital sander is light, easy to handle, and kind to your wooden floors. Unlike a drum sander, it doesn’t care about the wacky shape of the boards.
However, you might want to invest in a pneumatic sander, which is powerful but requires a compressor. While pneumatic tools are great for powering through thicker coats of stain, they’re not ideal for sensitive applications.
You can also try sandblasting, which is an easier and more effective method. However, it’s a little more expensive and harder to control.
The best sanding tools are the ones that come with the proper grit size. A good set of sandpaper will keep your project on the right track. Also, use a sander with a variable speed setting. This will help you avoid gouging softwoods.
In addition to sanding, you may want to clean your deck. Cleansing the surface with a solution of soap and water will raise the PH level of the wood. Afterward, you can use a jet wash on a low setting to remove grime.
If you are looking for ways to keep your deck in good shape, then you might want to apply a stain or sealer to it. This will protect the wood from moisture, mildew, and UV rays. A clear sealer can also show the unique grains of the wood.
Some professionals recommend using oil-based stains. These stains absorb into the wood better than other types. You can also use a water-based sealer to coat your deck. To apply a sealer, you can either use a paintbrush or a specially-designed applicator.