Summer means being out on your deck. It’s the ideal hang out when the weather gets hot, that perfectly blurred line between indoor and outdoor space. Whether it’s barbeque’s with friends, garden parties, or just enjoying nature, you deck let’s you have it all. Your deck adds curb appeal, livability, and resale value to your home. It adds a lot of easily useable space for a fraction of the cost compared to adding on to your actual home. It’s the throne upon which you can survey all of your outdoor domain. That might be getting a little too poetic, but your deck can be a great source of pride for your property. It can be a joy to use that versatile outdoor space. However without proper maintenance that boon to your property value can become an ungainly doggle.
The appeal of a deck relies heavily on how well it is maintained. If you’ve opted for natural wood you have to fight dirt, dust, grime, splinters, paint peeling or stains fading, unwanted stains appearing, mold, mildew, moss, algae and of course rot. Even the woods we specifically choose for decks like redwood and cedar are rot-resistant, not rot-proof. The organisms spreading spores or the plants digging in roots need time to do so. The longer they are left to do their own thing the more damage they can do. A heavily damaged deck needs to be completely replaced before it can add the value it once did to your home. Natural materials naturally want to degrade. You can’t stop this, but you can delay it. That’s not delaying it by months either, that means years. If you look at the initial cost of your deck, how much will it end up costing per year if it wears out in 5 years? How about 10 years, or 15, or 20?
You can sidestep some problems by building your deck with something synthetic. Splinters will be a non-issue and not having paint eliminates the worry that it will peel. That doesn’t rule out the environment though. Dirt, dust, and grime are still going to accumulate. Some of it will sweep off, but some of it is stubborn. Synthetic materials can still get stains and fade with time. They too need to be cleaned.
Regardless of how you chose to construct your deck you need to maintain it. That means keeping it tidy when you are using it, but that also means getting it ready for winter. A lot of what determines how long your deck will stick around depends on how well it is prepared for the winter months. A lot of maintenance means keeping it clean, but outdoor materials have all sorts of nooks and crannies for dirt to hide. For you, that could mean hours of hard scrubbing or minutes with a pressure washer. You can buy a pressure washer yourself, but you need to know what you are doing. The high-pressure water exiting the nozzle can easily damage your deck. If you want a deep, hassle-free clean without buying special equipment, though, you can’t go wrong with a professional.