Warm weather just begs people to come outside and enjoy some fresh air and a little bit of sunshine. A deck adds serious value to your home (and personal enjoyment) by offering 80% ROI during resale. As a homeowner, you know you need to take care to keep your investments in prime shape. With that being said, there are natural elements that can wreak havoc on your deck. A degree of preventative effort is required to preserve this outdoor living area of your home. The team at Quality Craftsmen would like to offer the following tips on protecting your deck against some of the harsher aspects of nature.
Protection from the Sun
Over time, wood decking boards will begin to show signs of damage from exposure to the sun. The earliest signs include fading color in the deck boards, which is often accompanied by visible cracking and splintering. In order to make your deck last as long as possible, it is necessary to apply a finish that includes UV protection. Several clear, transparent or semi-transparent stains offer effective UV protection while also allowing the character of the wood to show through. Stains must be reapplied every two to four years, which is also a good time to carefully inspect deck boards for splintering, lifted nails or other hazards.
Protection from Moisture
One of the most harmful natural elements to any deck is moisture. Water has a way of finding even the tiniest cracks and crevices and seeps in. That can lead to rot, which can quickly make your deck surface unstable and unsafe. The best way to protect against water intrusion is to periodically seal the surface of the deck boards with a product formulated to prevent the intrusion of water. That process begins by carefully cleaning the deck (ironically, using water) before allowing it to dry and sanding down any rough areas. From that point, the desired stain or sealer can be applied. The result is a deck that looks refreshed and is ready to use.
Protection from the Wind
Wind itself is not the damaging element. It is the trees, limbs and other items that can be blown onto the surface of your deck that can cause problems. When heavy winds pick up, your deck is at risk of falling or overblown items, which can break railings, damage the decking boards and cause splintering and cracking. The best way to protect against falling debris is to regularly inspect any trees that are nearby, looking for dead sections or limbs that could fall directly onto the surface of your deck. Consistent pruning can help avoid damage, as can securing heavy deck furniture in the event of a strong storm or high winds.
At Quality Craftsmen, we understand the simple joys of heading outside to spend a quiet evening on the deck, or entertaining friends and family with an outdoor meal. We have the skills and experience needed to address a range of home improvement and repair needs, including maintaining or repairing your deck. In fact, we can even design and build a new deck from the ground up. Give us a call with any questions, or to ask about our services.