If you’re completely clueless as to how to take care of your decking, you’re not the only one. Plenty of people are doing it the wrong way. Deck builders know this because they’re often having to make repairs and replacements to make up for it. To avoid this situation yourself and keep your deck in great condition, see below for our top maintenance tips.
Advice from Toronto Deck Builders on Proper Maintenance
Before you do any maintenance on your decking, read on for the mistakes that contractors commonly see, and be sure not to make them yourself.
Not Considering the Material
The type of maintenance required for your deck depends on the type of material it’s made out of. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some types of wood may require little to no maintenance at all, whereas others need regular cleaning and extra coatings of sealant. In some cases, the wrong type of treatment could actually cause damage.
Using the Wrong Contractor
If you’re going to hire deck builders to install your decking, it pays to do you research and use a reputable company with a proven high standard of work. Otherwise, you could end up with a sub-standard job that you regret paying for. The same goes for deck maintenance. If you choose to get contractors to take care of it for you, make sure you use the right ones.
Leaving it Down to Nature
Cleaning your decking is something that’s easy to put off, and many of us find ourselves making excuses to do so. One of the most common is that Toronto’s rainy spring weather can do the job for you. However, that’s not the case. It may look like it’s removing the dirt, but it’s really just moving it around. While the rain will wash some dirt away from the surface, it won’t stop it from building up underneath the deck. The moisture could cause mould to grow, too. Instead of waiting for the rain to come, be proactive and clean it yourself.
Oiling it Without Cleaning Thoroughly
Some decks require regular oiling to keep the wood in good condition. When it’s time to put another layer on, it’s important to give the deck a good clean first. That means more than just a quick sweep. Any residual dirt and grime left behind will prevent the oil from soaking into the wood properly, so make sure it’s all clear before you put any oil on.
Not Letting the Oil Sit for Long Enough
Experienced deck builders will tell you that treating the wood requires planning ahead. If the oil doesn’t have enough time to sit, it could end up being patchy and uneven, requiring more work. Before you treat your deck, check the weather forecast to make sure it’s not about to rain, and ensure that no one will be walking on it any time soon. If you don’t, you might have to repeat the whole process again.
Ignoring the Gaps
Letting dirt and debris build up in the gaps under and around your decking is a crucial mistake. While it may be out of sight and out of mind, it could cause damage that will take you by surprise later on. If left there for too long, it could cause the wood to rot or warp due to moisture. It can also provide a great hiding place for animals and bugs. Make sure you clear gaps out regularly.
Power Washing the Wrong Way
Power washers can be great tools for maintaining decks, but they can also cause damage if they’re not used correctly. Using the wrong tip, holding it too close to the deck, or setting the PSI too high, are all big mistakes.