Whether you have enjoyed having a cedar deck for decades or just finished up construction on your brand new deck, it never hurts to have a better understanding of how to best care for and extend the life of your deck. Unsurprisingly, there is a wide range of common mistakes that deck owners make each year, some of which can have long-lasting effects on your deck. Beyond investing in regular cedar maintenance in Memphis, TN, what can you do to properly care for your deck? Here is a quick rundown of some common mistakes to avoid:
- Too much pressure washing: This one is counterintuitive, as obviously giving your deck a good cleaning once in a while isn’t just okay—it’s encouraged! But using too much power, or putting the washer too close to your deck, can actually strip the wood and leave behind unpleasant stains.
- Slacking off on staining: A stain is not just an aesthetic element for cedar decks. It also protects it from harsh sunlight and other elements. If you fail to update your stain every two to three years, it can start to wear, causing more permanent issues. Make sure you remember to stain your deck at least every three years.
- Forgetting to use a grill pad: There’s nothing better than grilling out on your back deck, but unfortunately, forgetting to protect your deck’s surface from the grease, oil and other side effects of grilling could cause damage to the stain, and even to the cedar wood itself. Remember to always keep a grill pad around your grill when it is in use.
- Putting off repairs: A cracked board, a loose nail or other seemingly small repair jobs might not seem very urgent, especially with all the other responsibilities you might be juggling. But these issues can easily spread if left neglected, so it’s best to tackle them as they arise.
- Using varnish: Varnish is a great way to protect wooden floors and features inside your home, but it is usually not designed to stand up to outdoor use. So long as you remember to re-stain your cedar deck every few years, leave the varnish for indoor projects.
- Leaving furniture out in the winter: Leaving your furniture out on your deck all winter isn’t just bad for the furniture—it’s also bad for your deck. During precipitation, water can pool under furniture and not evaporate so easily, which can lead to rot and damage to your cedar wood.
- Using household bleach: Finally, mold and mildew are common problems for decks, and many homeowners turn to their trusty household bleach to tackle the issue. But chlorine can be seriously toxic to cedar wood, and you could be risking the stability and health of your entire deck. Try using oxygen bleach instead of household chlorine bleach for your deck.
For more tips on deck care and cedar maintenance in Memphis, TN, please get in touch with the team at Bolen-Brunson-Bell Lumber Co. anytime.