If you have a composite deck, lucky you! Your low maintenance deck basically takes care of itself. However, if you have a wood deck, you know that it needs a little TLC from time to time. Although beautiful and traditional, wood decks are more vulnerable to the elements and require the occasional stain or sealant application to keep them looking fresh. If your deck is starting to looks a little worse for the wear, it might be time for some deck maintenance.
Start off by cleaning your deck off, removing dirt with a pressure washer. Let it dry completely, waiting 24 hours. Make sure all boards are still in good shape, inspecting for rot, splintering, or loose boards.
Once you’ve made sure your deck is clean and structurally sound, it’s ready for a new coat of stain and sealant. Many types of lumber naturally resist insects and rot, but wood is still vulnerable to the elements. If you want to preserve it without changing the color, use a clear wood preservative. This will boost its appearance and add protection without changing the color of the wood. Or if you want to touch up the color, use an exterior stain in a semi-transparent finish, then a wood preservative after the stain has completely dried.
Wear protective goggles and gloves to avoid making contact with any harmful chemicals. Apply the stain or finish with a roller or brush. Let it soak into the wood for about 20 minutes, then go over the surface with a brush again to give a more consistent finish. Then apply a second coat for good measure. Let the deck dry for 48 hours before applying a sealant to finish it off. Now your deck is as good as new!