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How to Care for Your Deck

Spring is the best time to think about pressure washing your house, decks, driveways, walkways and/or stoops. Hop on it before your shrubs and blooming plants are big enough to be susceptible to water and bleach AND big feet! Pressure washing and staining your deck is an easy and inexpensive way to bring new life to an area of your home that can be enjoyed so much this time of year. Pressure washing will remove unsightly mildew and bring the wood color back to a neglected deck. Treating it with a quality stain will protect it from sun and harsh weather. Deck treatment will seal the wood and keep it from "checking", fading and deteriorating. And, it will make it look great!

1. Examine your deck for loose boards or rotted wood. Replace any damaged wood that you find and nail down any loose boards. Make sure your deck is strong and sturdy and that the support posts are in good condition. Depending on the age of the deck, this should be done once a year prior to pressure washing.

2. The first step in caring for your deck is to pressure wash it on a regular basis. Once a year is usually sufficient if the deck is treated. If your deck is susceptible to tree residue and/or mold, you may want to do it more often. When pressure washing be careful not to apply too much force as it may damage the wood.

3. The next step in caring for your deck is to apply a coat of top quality deck stain. Cabot Stains are an excellent choice as they hold up well and go on easily. Read the directions on the can and follow them carefully. In most cases your deck will need to be clean and dry when applying the stain. It is also often recommended that only one coat be applied. A coat of quality deck stain will allow the water to bead when it rains and protect the wood from excess moisture and sun.

4. When the deck has dried, set up your deck furniture, pour yourself a glass of ice tea (or something stronger), sit down, relax and enjoy!

If you don't have the time, equipment or expertise to undertake your own deck maintenance, call your local painting company. It is worth the expense to keep your deck in good condition.

Tips & Warnings

1. Make sure it is not going to rain for 24 hours after you stain your deck.

2. Make sure you have removed all of the dirt and mildew prior to applying stain.

3. If you haven't got the time or the equipment, call your local painting company.

4. When hiring a contractor always ask for references.

5. Get three estimates if possible when hiring a contractor to do work on your house.

6. Make sure you compare apples to apples when looking at multiple quotes.

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About the Author

Dale Nickels, Quality Decks, LLC
304 1/2 Boundry St.
Oak Hill, OH 45656

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