If you have a wooden deck on your property, then you probably enjoy the extra outdoor living space that it affords you. At the same time, however, there are some important maintenance and care steps that you'll need to follow in order to keep your deck in great shape for many years to come. Specifically, because wood is prone to mildew and mold, there are some things you'll want to do to protect it from such damage.
Make Sure There's Proper Drainage
Start by making sure that your deck was constructed in a way that encourages proper drainage. You can do this by either heavily spraying your deck down with a hose or simply waiting until the next time you get heavy rain. Assess the deck for any areas where there is standing water; this may indicate a drainage problem that will need to be addressed by your deck builder. Also, make sure that none of your gutters or downspouts are draining onto your deck.
Re-Seal Your Deck Every Few Years
A water-proof sealant should be applied to your deck every few years; this will help to prevent water from being absorbed into the wood itself, which is what causes mold and mildew damage. Be sure to thoroughly clean your deck before applying a sealant to avoid trapping mold spores or other debris within the deck wood itself. If you don't feel up to the task of sealing your deck yourself, you can always contact a contractor to do this for you.
Use a Deck Cleaner Product As Needed
Over time, dirt and grime can build up in layers on top of your deck, as can mildew (which will eventually turn into mold, if left untreated). You can get rid of mildew before it becomes a major mold problem by simply using a deck cleaner on your wood deck every year or so. Deck cleaner can be found at any home improvement store and is generally a type of detergent that you apply to the deck, scrub in, and rinse off with a hose.
Keep Mulch Away From Your Deck
Finally, when landscaping around your deck, try to stay away from mulches, which can harbor mold spores that will easily spread to your deck over time. Instead, stick with a landscaping material that's less prone to mold and mildew, such as rocks or pebbles. This way, you can protect your deck and still have a great-looking yard.
For more information on desk care, contact a company such as Hallmark Waterproofing Inc.