Wooden patios and decks add value to homes and increase usable living space. However, owners need to care for outdoor wood surfaces to extend their lives, keep them safe, and ensure they remain attractive. The steps involved in maintaining decks and patios are not complicated, but it is easy to make mistakes that create more problems than they solve. With that in mind, savvy property owners learn the dos and don’ts of power washing, repairing, tidying, and sealing wood surfaces.
1) Power Wash Surfaces Correctly
The simplest way to give outdoor wood a facelift is to power wash it. However, the process has to be done correctly and on a schedule that optimizes the life of the wood.
Owners should hire professionals for the task since experts have the necessary equipment and experience to ensure a thorough job. Technicians can use methods that are gentle on surfaces. For example, property owners who browse the Internet will be able to get more information about soft washing techniques that are safe for all types of woods.
It is best to avoid DIY power cleaning that can destroy patio materials. It can be challenging to gauge the pressure needed for various materials. Homeowners should also avoid power washing too often since overusing the process can take a toll on materials.
2) Remove Debris Regularly
Something as simple as sweeping a patio or deck has a significant impact on its condition. When debris is left too long, it can get trapped and create the perfect home for mold and rot. Decaying foliage may stain surfaces.
However, it is essential to use tools that will not harm surfaces. For instance, scrubbing stains with a wire brush is abrasive and may damage the wood.
3) Routine Cleaning Is Essential for Good Looks
Washing a wooden patio helps keep it looking good between power-cleaning sessions. According to experts writing for Savvy Remodeler, plain water may be all that is needed, but a mild cleanser will also work.
Avoid using bleach that can change the wood’s color and damage nearby plants.
4) Repair Damage As Soon as Possible
Homeowners who want safe, durable wood patios and decks must stay vigilant and routinely examine surfaces for damages. Nails can come loose, and boards might crack or warp. Per home improvement publication Today’s Homeowner, it is also critical to inspect surfaces for dry rot.
As owners examine patios, they need to be careful not to ignore areas like railings and stairs. Damages often weaken these areas, turning them into safety hazards.
5) Seal Wooden Surfaces Instead of Painting
Even carefully maintained outdoor wood surfaces eventually need to be resealed to preserve them. Experts recommend using one-step products that seal and stain and are ideal for DIY projects.
Tempting as it might be to paint outdoor wood structures, building specialists advise against the idea. It is easy for moisture to get trapped during priming and painting. Painted surfaces also need much more care to look good than stains.
Wood patios and decks can last for decades with the proper care. Routine maintenance includes removing debris, washing surfaces, and scheduling regular power washing. It is critical to fix damaged areas quickly and ensure surfaces are sealed. However, owners should avoid harsh cleaning products and techniques. It is equally vital to seal rather than paint surfaces and ensure that wood is not power washed too often.