How To Maintain Your Wood Deck And Why It's Good For Your Health

Posted on: 16 June 2015

If your deck seems like an insignificant feature of your home or just a place to put the grill that you only use once or twice in the summer, you could be missing out. Perhaps you feel like you already have enough repairs and upgrades to do to your home without adding the deck to your list. Maybe your deck is just not a comfortable place to spend time. In this article, learn about the most common deck problems, how to maintain your deck and some surprising benefits that you can take advantage of by spending more time on your deck.

Deck Problems and Maintenance

Unlike other areas of your home, deck repairs and maintenance are pretty straight-forward. While a professional may be in order for repairs, with a little bit of time and a few tools, you can maintain your deck and keep it looking great for years.

It's important to recognize common issues with wooden decks and how to handle them. Problems that you'll need to address include:

  • Water damage. Over time, a wooden deck will begin to absorb water, causing the wood to break down. When a new deck is built, it is usually sealed, but it must be sealed regularly through the years. To find out if your deck needs to be resealed, sprinkle water on it. If the water doesn't bead up and soaks into the wood, thoroughly clean and reseal the deck.
  • Rot. A water damaged or otherwise unprotected deck can begin to rot. A rotting deck is not a pretty sight and more importantly, can be dangerous. Regular maintenance is important to prevent rotting wood. If you can break the wood apart with a screwdriver easily, it will need to be replaced. A deck that has extensive rot should be inspected and repaired or replaced by a professional.
  • Structural weakness. Many homeowners choose to build their own decks to save money, but this can lead to structural weakness due to improper installation. Hiring a professional to build your deck may seem expensive, but it is a sound investment and can prevent damage to your home and injury to your family. If your deck wobbles or boards bend, or "give", when you walk on it, call a professional to have it inspected and repaired or replaced.

The best way to prevent problems like these is to do regular maintenance. Follow these steps to keep your deck looking great:

  1. Clean it. Clean your deck thoroughly at the beginning and end of the summer season. Make sure to protect your eyes and skin when using deck cleaning solutions, which you can purchase at your local home improvement store. Invest in a pump garden sprayer to make this job quick and easy. Remember to apply the cleaner to vertical and horizontal purposes and follow the cleaner instructions for the length of time it needs to sit. When it it's time to remove the cleaner, use clean water. A pressure washer is ideal for the job.
  2. Repair it. Once your deck is clean, check for protruding screws and drive them back into the wood. Replace any damaged sections of wood. Consider sanding any rough spots of wood. If you don't have the time, check out companies like Kansas City Remodel and Handyman Allen.
  3. Protect it. Use a tinted or clear deck stain or sealer. There are many different options, including a variety of colors. Your pump sprayer works for this portion of your maintenance as well, but use a paint brush while the stain is still wet to work it into cracks and crevices.

Putting a minimal amount of effort into your deck can make it more inviting, add value to your home, keep your family safe when using it and prevent expensive repairs.

Why Your Deck is Good for You

Your deck is good for more than just holding your grill. Spending time on your deck regularly is actually good for your health!

If you spend all day in an office and come home from a busy day only to curl up on your sofa, you're missing the amazing health benefits of being outdoors. Your deck is a great place to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

Spending more time outdoors can:

  • Ease depression
  • Improve your focus
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Boost your mood

A study in the American Journal of Public Health found that being outside can improve concentration skills and even lessen the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

More exposure to sunshine also increases your levels of Vitamin D, which is important for bone growth, inflammation reduction, and immune function. Do make sure to use sunscreen when basking on your deck to prevent too much exposure to harmful UV rays.

The health benefits of spending more time outdoors are well documented in the scientific community and spending more time on your deck is a great way to get started moving toward an outdoorsy lifestyle.

Use the tips in this article to maintain a comfortable and inviting deck space. Not only does your deck extend your homes living space, but it is one of the healthiest areas of your home. Fire up your grill and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors – it does a body good!


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