Hit the Deck – How to Care for Your Pressure Treated Wood Deck

Summer is upon us and it’s time for us all to “hit the deck”. The wonderful warm weather brings us all outside to throw some steaks on the grill or to gather for social functions with friends and family. It also might be a good time to take a look at your pressure treated wood deck and check for maintenance needs.

Most decks are constructed of pressure treated wood. New decks have a normal, yellow-green look to them that will fade in time to a silvery color. It is natural for wood to dry out and crack as it ages. Sealing the wood on your deck is highly recommended to extend the life of your pressure treated wood. When water enters the wood and then dries out, it can cause the wood to expand and contract which leads to splitting and cracking. Sealing your deck can help prevent this from happening. Many people have one main question regarding sealing their deck, how do they know when it is needed. A very simple test is this, pour some water on the pressure treated wood of your deck. If the moisture “beads up” it is not time to reseal the wood on your deck. However, if the area becomes a large dark mark on the surface, it is time to head to the hardware store!

Have you been thinking about painting or staining your deck to add to its beauty? Not only does stain enhance the appearance of your deck, it also lubricates the wood and help protect it from the elements. Most manufacturers recommend waiting two to three months in order to allow the wood to cure. The best time to seal or paint your deck is in the early spring when temperatures are consistent and without it becoming too hot or too cold outside.

As a matter of safety, periodically check your deck to make sure everything is secure. Check the railings, steps, and posts. When repairing, make sure to not use the same nail hole twice.

Keep in mind that decks are not designed to accommodate the excessive weight of items such as hot tubs, kiddy pools, and larger children’s toys. In order to make your deck safer for those needs please make sure you take the appropriate design steps to reinforce your decks capabilities.

Take a look around your deck and make sure you don’t have many plants, bushes, or grass growing too closely to your deck. This can lead to decreased air movement and drainage. Always clean out the spaces between your deck boards and remove and leaves and debris. No one cares to hit a rotten deck!

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