How Routine Inspections Help Determine Wood Deck Repair in Dumfries, VA
Anyone who has had the privilege of having a deck would find it hard to live without one. There are so many benefits to installing a deck. You get to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your house. You will also boost the value of your home because you increase the square footage. Decks also provide a fantastic place to host guests during get-togethers. Most importantly, if you want a place to relax and read a good book, then a deck is a great place to do it!
However, a typical deck handles a lot. Think about the foot traffic it has to handle. It also has to contend with the impact of the weather; whether sun, ice, or rain. The deck is also vulnerable to fungal attack and pest invasions. You must take steps to well-maintain your deck in Dumfries, VA to avoid costly repairs and to continue appreciating its benefits. We will show you how in our article below.
Schedule in Routine Inspections
Like other parts of your home, your deck will require regular maintenance. Carry out an inspection at least once every year. Some of the major things to look out for include:-
- Loose boards
- Signs of rotting
- Signs of rusting on the fasteners, joists, and connectors
- Mildew and mold
- Damage from insects
- Protruding nails
- Cracks on the deck board surface
- How secure the posts and handrails are
Checking for some of the things is simple because they are clearly visible to the eyes. A crack on the deck board surface, for example, is easy to see. Other signs that you require wood deck repairs may be a bit difficult to detect because of their position. We would recommend that you call in the experts to conduct a more thorough inspection. They understand the structural dimensions of wood decks and know precisely what to look for. Consider the cost of hiring professionals a worthwhile investment; you will avoid costly repairs in the long run.
Clean Your Deck
Do not neglect the importance of cleaning your deck. You get to rid it of dirt and build up. Debris can be especially damaging because it will clog the spaces between the boards.
Use a powerful nozzle on your power washer or garden hose to blast it out. You will find products that have oxalic acid or a non-chlorine bleach base, which will help with the removal of stains or discoloration.
The bleach eliminates mildew, while the acid-base prevents graying or staining. Be careful about the amount of bleach you use because it can give your deck a washed-out look. You can tackle this problem by using restoration products. Pay attention to the usage instructions to avoid doing any damage. Do note; you will need to afterward rinse out your valuable Dumfries, VA deck thoroughly.
Essential Tips For Cleaning the Deck
- Remove any furniture, rugs, or appliances before you start cleaning.
- Sweep away any debris before you start cleaning. Include this as a routine maintenance process, so that you avoid any build-up of dirt or debris.
- Ensure you apply the deck cleaner on horizontal and vertical surfaces evenly.
- Give the cleaner sufficient time to do its job by letting it sit for some time. Most of them come with user instructions; hence follow them.
- Use a pressure washer within the range of 1000 to 3000 pounds per square inch.
- Do not focus on one spot for too long. A very powerful blast of water can damage the wood.
- Use scrubbing tools to get rid of more difficult dirt or grime, and towards securing your Dumfries, VA deck.
- Take care of any repairs once you finish the cleaning. Such include nailing back protruding nails or tightening screws.
- Carry out an inspection to determine whether there are any signs of rust or rot.
- Sand down any rough spots to avoid having to deal with splinters. You have the option of using electric sanders. They will, however, not reach the hidden areas, and you may need to do it manually.
- Ensure the high traffic areas have no defects because they could lead to injuries.
Staining and Painting the Deck
The beauty of wood is that it looks natural, unlike the processed material. You can return this natural look with a clear stain if you so wish. You can also use deck paint to give it whatever color you prefer. Ensure you look for products that have alkyd primer or stain blocking oils for a better finish. You want a product that will soak into the wood instead of providing a film on the surface. Avoid heavily pigmented stains because they may peel, and will generally show the patterns of wear and tear.
Factor in the following when looking for a finish:-
- Waterproof or water repellent capabilities to take care of moisture issues.
- Ultraviolet protection to avoid discoloration from the sun.
- It should contain mildewcide to combat any mildew issues.
Sealing Your Dumfries, VA Deck to Avoid Costly Repairs
You must seal your deck once you clean, stain, and paint it. Ensure that the deck is dry, and then use a roller, spray, or brush to apply the sealant. Cover any plants or furniture so that the sealant does not get on them. It can kill your plants due to the chemicals in it. Your contracting company will advise you on the best sealant to use. Some are oil-based; others have a tint, while others offer UV protection. When using the ones with a tone, apply them carefully; otherwise, you will interfere with the uniformity of the wood color.
When installing your deck, you may have gone for pressure-treated wood. The main advantage of pressure-treated lumber is that it will resist insects and rot. It will, however, still require sealing to protect it against the effects of the weather. Look for the appropriate products when cleaning pressure-treated wood.
Do note, even though you have the option of using paint, it does not work well as a sealant. Within a short time, it will start to have a distressed look requiring you to redo it.
Your deck will attract certain insects that can cause critical damage. Such include termites, carpenter bees, ants, beetles, mice, rats, and raccoons. Let the professionals handle the removal so that you do not have to deal with them again.
Think About Where you Place Your Plants
There is something beautiful about having plants within the deck. You have the option of hanging plants or even potted plants. One of the things you must do to maintain them well is to water them. The constant dripping or leaking of moisture onto the deck will, over time, impact on the deck surface. You may start to notice signs of warping or rotting, especially around the plants. Be careful about how you water the plants so that it is not excessive. You can also place the planters on top of a cement block. It helps with avoiding moisture or dirt collection.
Avoid Staining Due to Grease
It is a perfect hot summer day, and you decide to treat the family to a grill fest on the deck. You light up your trusty grill, and before long, everyone is enjoying sumptuous food. One thing you forgot to do, however, was to use the grease catcher. Now you have grease around your grill. Telltale shoe prints also show that grease might be in other parts of the deck as well. You may be asking, what is the big deal, right? Here is the thing, though; if you do not clean up the grease in good time, it may lead to staining. Grease stains are tough to remove, and it will spoil the aesthetic appeal of your deck.
Call Us Today
You can avoid costly wood deck repairs in your Dumfries, VA, home with some of the tips we have shared above. You may, however, require help with part of the tasks. Taking on some of the jobs require skill and the right tools. It is of great importance that you have the right people to handle some of the functions for you. Call us and let us carry out a thorough inspection of your wood deck. We will then give you a recommendation on what you need to do.