Maintenance tips for your wood deck

A beautiful wood deck can last a long time if it is well maintained. It needs to be cleaned, stained or sealed to prevent splitting, drying, cracking and graying. Here are some simple tips to keep your deck coating looking new.

Tips:

If water puddles sit on a deck or porch for more than two days, brush them off. Standing water can cause mildew to form on the surface of a coating.

Pitch stains, or crystallized sap, found mainly around the knots of pressure-treated wood, can be removed with turpentine or simply scraped away. Turpentine will not harm an existing coating. Pitch is a non-water soluble, organic wood extractive material found in species such as Ponderosa, Southern and White Pine.

Do not use a metal shovel to remove snow from a deck; it can pierce the underlying coating and cause it to erode.

Only use sodium chloride (i.e. Halite) types of salt on a wood deck or porch that has been water-sealed or stained. Calcium chloride salts will reduce the effectiveness of a water-repellent coating.

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