Home Maintenance 101: The Do’s & Don’ts Of Outdoor Deck Maintenance


It doesn’t matter whether you want to enjoy the outdoor surroundings of your home or want to sell your property altogether – maintaining your deck will always prove to be a no-brainer. Since your deck forms a special part of your home, proper maintenance will benefit your entire property. If you can keep your outdoor deck in good shape, then you can extend its life and possibly enhance your house’s value.

According to a popular home inspector in Monmouth County NJ, proper maintenance & upkeep of your deck is required, regardless of the material, it’s made of. Most decks of today are manufactured from the following type of materials:

  • Composite decking
  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Vinyl decking
  • Tropical hardwoods
  • Redwood
  • Cedar
  • Aluminium decking

The Do’s Of Deck Maintenance

  • Annual Cleaning

Every year you should clean your deck to keep the structure at its best. Such a step is very important for wooden decks because they require an annual exfoliation process to let the protective deck sealers get absorbed deeper into the wooden structures. The cleaning process must be done at mild temperatures, especially at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. For the cleaning ingredients, we’d suggest using a brush for scrubbing along with a deck cleaning agent. Ensure that the cleaning agent is not harsh because it will readily damage the wooden surface. 

If your deck is made from composite wood, then we suggest using special cleaners for the same. For removing grease & oil stains, you can use a regular degreaser or detergent. Alternatively, for vinyl decks, it’s safe to use water along with mild soap. 

  • Annual Sealing

Before you start the sealing process for your deck, you have to prepare your deck. Since you’ve already cleaned your deck, there’s no further cleaning to be done. However, you have to check for any loose nails or screws, and thereby replace them. Moreover, you have to look for any signs of rot or loose deck boards. Additionally, check the stairs and railings. Any damage must be repaired before you can think of sealing.

Once your deck is ready to be sealed, you have to then sand the deck. Ensure that the sanding process isn’t too powerful, otherwise, you’ll damage the deck’s surface. After that, you have to apply the sealer. Use a clear coat sealer for the same because it will last longer. 

The Don’ts Of Deck Maintenance

  • Never Use Chlorine Bleach

In case you’re unaware, then you must know that chlorine can strip away your natural wood’s structural integrity & colour. Chlorine is also harmful to all the foliage & potted plants present on your deck (if there’s any). 

Instead, you can proceed to use oxygen bleach. But, if your deck is made from redwood, then you shouldn’t use oxygen bleach as well. Bleach can be great for household uses, but when it comes to deck maintenance, it’s a strict no-no. 

  • Never Use High-Powered Pressure Washers

High-powered pressure washers are great for saving time and thorough cleaning of different surfaces. But, you shouldn’t use it on your deck because the surface will be damaged due to the extreme pressure. Furthermore, when it comes to decks made from composite wood, it’s not even recommended to use pressure washers at all. 

Deck maintenance isn’t easy. But, we hope our suggestions have made your deck life a little simpler. For any other home inspection queries, do let us know. 


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