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Deck Maintenance

Maintaining your deck is a two-fold process that can be as rewarding as it is a chore. The first process is regular cleaning of your deck. The second is all-out repair, which shouldn't happen very often unless there is a natural disaster. Or an unnatural disaster, like your nephew getting loaded and leaning a little too hard on the deck railing.

Cleaning and Brightening Chemicals
Keeping your deck clean is one of the best ways to avoid having to repair your deck. The following chemicals are your best tools for keeping your deck clean and, even more importantly, looking like new.

  • Chlorine Based Bleach Phosphoric Acid
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Disodium Peroxydicarbonate
  • Oxygen Based Bleach

All of these chemicals should be treated with complete caution. Always wear protective gear when using them and be sure to read all of the labels explicitly.

Fixing the Problem
Full out deck repair is your next step. Firstly, if you are moving into a new home and the deck is in such a state of disrepair that you don't think you can repair it, you probably can't.

If the wood is rotten, there is nothing you can do to reverse this process. Rot could also mean a termite infestation. Hungry termites would like nothing better than a fresh new banquet of new pressure-treated lumber. If this is the case, then replacing the deck is a better investment.

If you think you can repair it, you'll need to keep the following in mind.

1. Make sure you buy the same kind of wood as the existing deck. If you think that buying a better type of wood will prevent the problem from happening again, then you're probably right. But any staining or painting could look odd if done on a different wood surface.
2. When cutting out the damaged portion of the deck, always remember the joints. It is very possible that the trauma that caused the deck to break in the first place damaged the joints but did not destroy them.