Don’t assume your waterproof deck is protected from damage simply because it’s been treated to repel moisture. Moisture is definitely an enemy of all outdoor structures, but there are other instances when your deck may be in danger. Unlike the inside of our home, it’s easy to overlook something we don’t necessarily examine every day.
- Expanding Moisture In Between Wooden Planks ~ Your wood planks may be impervious to water, but if the liquid is allowed to set it will freeze and expand in cold weather. This damage would be slow and hard to notice from day-to-day, but that ice is spreading the wood farther apart, putting strain on the screws holding it together and loosening the entire structure of your deck. Clear rain, sleet and especially snow and ice quickly. Treat your deck with salt or other agents that prevent ice from settling. A thick layer of ice will require a lot of smashing to break and remove, which is also putting an undue strain on the deck below.
- Setting Furniture and Debris ~ Whether it’s a beautiful set of lawn furniture or an old pair of boots, anything that sets allows for things to build up on and around them. Whether leaves and dirt are hiding around the items or rust and old paint are coming from them, over time this just setting on your deck will have a negative effect. Just move things around regularly and power wash the residue.
- Long-Term Run-Off of Various Substances ~ If a rain gutter or other accessory to your deck area is allowing water or debris to land on the same place continually, the water itself is not penetrating your wood, but the weight and flow of it can make indentations and change the shape of the area over time. Its best not to let rain gutters spill anywhere but onto the ground or into an appropriate basin and other interfering objects can easily be moved out of the path of wind and rain.
- Mineral Wear ~ So your deck is waterproof, but what about the substances carried in by water, wind and human transfer? We’re talking about dirt. Dirt is full of minerals, chemicals and even organisms that chew and bore into surfaces all the time. Living on a dirt road or just a busy street where dust is kicked up a lot can add to this problem. Walking across a deck in muddy shoes or setting down things that carry dirt, rust or other contaminates is easy to overlook.
- Excessive Wear and Tear ~ Surely you built your deck to last, but it’s not made of steel. Try not to attach rope or cords to your railings or dowels, since whatever is on the other end of that tie will pull on the piece and the entire structure in a way that is not intended. It’s tempting to use the deck for a jungle gym, attach it to a clothesline or tether a dog or other animal, but that simply isn’t what it’s for.
Your deck is an investment just like any other part of your home. It not only adds to the appearance of the exterior and overall look of the house, but it adds a great area for family and friends to get together, barbecues and quiet places to sit. Having a deck truly multiplies the use of your home by including the outdoor space as a part-time living area. But like the rest of your home, the best care means the longest life.
Contact us when you’re first considering your deck, during the build and throughout the life of the structure for the best advice on maintenance for years to come.