Deck and Fence Maintenance Basics

The elements can relentless to your deck and fence. If you want to preserve the lifespan of either one, you’re going to need to implement some routine maintenance. Since most decks and fences are made from wood, you need to know how to protect your wood from things like direct sunlight, wind, and of course all types of precipitation that can occur in your region such as rain, snow, and sleet. 

Moisture can be vicious to wood and if you don’t take the proper precautions, you will find yourself repairing or even replacing your deck or fence much sooner than you might have expected. You don’t need to sit there and let it happen, you can fight against the elements to protect your deck and fence to make it resistant to the worst that Mother Nature has to offer. 

Don’t wait another minute, here are the basics that you need to know for maintaining your deck and fence in order to make them each last for as long as you own your home: 

Clear Off the Detritus

Your deck and fence can both feel the effects of the environmental debris that collects from surrounding trees and nature. We’re talking about errant leaves, sticks, twigs, and branches that can become dislodged and fall onto your deck and even get caught up in your fence. 

Certain regions of the country can also be heavy with airborne impurities and contaminants such as dust, pollen, grime, even smog. Just because you can’t see these things doesn’t mean they won’t stick to the surface of your deck and fence. Before long, you will begin to see them as they collect, making your wood appear dull, hazy, and old. 

So, the first thing to do about all of this random detritus and debris is clear it out. Get a leaf blower and remove all of the loose stuff that’s just lying and hanging on your deck and fence.

Time to Clean

Now that the loose debris is gone, you’re going to need to get a little more intense about your cleaning regimen. Starting with the deck, you want to get a deck cleaner that has the cleaning power to cut through months, if not years, of caked on gunk. A good option is something with sodium percarbonate as one of its primary ingredients. 

What’s great about sodium percarbonate is that it can cut through mildew and oxidation, two of the most damaging impacts that can rob your wood of its natural luster. So, get started with this type of cleanser and then rinse with cold water. 

As for the fence, you could get a power washer to clean the surface of all that stubborn dirt and grime but you need to be careful using powerful equipment because you could end up doing more harm than good due to the high velocity of the water being expelled. If you’re not too sure about doing the work yourself, get a fence cleaning estimate from one of the local services. 

Rot Inspection

Depending on the species of wood you’ve used for either your deck or fence, you may not need to take this step. But it’s a good habit to get into, unless you’ve built with a pressure-treated option. Inspect for any evidence of wood rot or infestation of termites.

This is especially important for those of you who have chosen natural wood for the deck or fence and your area gets an elevated level of moisture in the air or through high levels of precipitation or humidity. So, examine every board and post carefully to see if you find any indications of rot or termites. A deck or fence with any evidence of these impacts needs to be given the proper attention to solve these issues or the damage will only get worse. 

Necessary Repairs

During your examination, you may come across other problems that need repair. Don’t ignore these issues, the longer you allow them to remain, the worse they will become. So, take care in giving your deck and fence the repairs that are necessary. No matter how small it might appear, from loose screws or rusted nuts, you want to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep your deck looking great and structurally reliable and sound.

Leaving these problems unaddressed won’t just make your deck and fence look ugly but it could pose serious detriments to their functionality. A poorly maintained deck will start to fall apart, an unkempt fence will topple over. Avoid both of these from happening with regular maintenance.