Get Decked Out Without Feeling Stressed Out

With outdoor living season right around the corner, chances are, your deck is going to get more use than ever this time of year. And between the regular use, hot sun, and occasional storm, maintenance issues are bound to crop up.

“We all want to spend our summer relaxing – rather than maintaining – our outdoor livings spaces,” said Adam Zambanini, Vice President of Marketing for Trex. “With just a little bit of cleaning and maintenance in the summer months, you will not only keep your deck looking beautiful for immediate use, but also will help preserve its condition for years to come.”

Zambanini offers the following solutions for tackling the top five most common deck dilemmas.

1. Exposed loose nails

If you own a wood deck, drag the back of a rake across the boards to find any protruding nail heads. Hammer them down, or replace them with galvanized screws that are approximately ½-inch longer than the original nails. If you desire a smooth deck surface that is completely free of any type of fasteners, consider a wood-alternative material like Trex Transcend®, which can be used with Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fastening System. The system’s clips create a seamless look with no screws or screw holes to interrupt the smooth texture and comfortable feel of the decking.

2. Scuffs and abrasions

To keep wood decks looking good as new, it’s important to wash, stain, and seal them. Difficult scuffs may require the use of a power washer. If you have a wood-alternative deck, though, scuffs and abrasions can be washed off easily with soap and water. Be sure to check the deck manufacturer’s cleaning and care guide before using a power washer on a wood-alternative deck.

3. Set-in stains

Whether you have a wood or a wood-alternative deck, try to scrub the stain with a household degreasing agent as soon as it occurs. Use an automotive degreaser or a carburetor cleaner, and rinse immediately with hot water.

4. Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew can grow on any exterior surface – especially on decks where water can stand or puddle under potted plants. Sweeping away pools of water and periodically cleaning the deck surface creates a first line of defense against mold and mildew. Use conventional deck washes or cleaners that contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and detergent. In addition, wood decks need to be sealed twice a year to protect against other types of moisture damage, such as rotting planks.

5. Splintering boards

The amount of time and effort required to fix splintering boards on a wood deck depends on the extent of the damage. Lightly splintered boards may be salvaged through sanding, while severely splintered boards will continue to deteriorate and most likely will need to be replaced. Decks constructed of wood-alternative materials offer incredible durability and will never splinter.

“While wood-alternative decks require less maintenance than decking made of other materials – such as wood or vinyl – it’s still crucial to provide proper and regular care in order to ensure a ‘like new’ appearance for longer,” said Zambanini.

For more outdoor living tips and trends, please follow the hashtag #TollOutdoorLiving on social media, and visit Toll Brothers’ Outdoor Living board on Pinterest.

Toll Brothers’ partner Trex Company contributed to this story. TLTVMaintenance

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