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Deck Maintenance

Why is my deck so slippery?
What is that black stuff on the surface?
How do I prepare the deck for staining?

It stands to reason that people are quite concerned with deck maintenance. Most new homebuilders find that redwood is priced prohibitively. Replacing existing decks has become a major expense so it stands to reason that this should be part of your routine maintenance program.

Every year evaluate how your deck is holding up on a structural basis. If the deck sags or comes in contact with the soil or appears spongy in any areas have that checked out and repaired before proceeding with a new finish.

A good first step is to re-secure the deck boards with either galvanized nails or deck screws. Heat and cold cycles cause the old nails to work themselves out and become trip hazards. You can reset the nails with a good center punch and a large hammer. Sink the heads of the nails slightly lower than the top of the boards. Now clean out between the boards with an old saw blade. At this point you need to wash your deck completely off with water. If there are plants below your deck hose them off generously and then make a mixture of bleach and water. Use a non-metal brush or broom to "scrub" the deck off. This mixture will kill the moss (slippery) and mildew (black) and leave your deck relatively clean. After scrubbing hose down plants and grass again where the mixture came in contact with them. Use the same procedure with a deck cleaner such as Dekswood. After your last rinse your deck will look great but will be totally exposed to the sun and other elements. To protect the surface apply the correct amount of wood preservative, not too much, and allow to dry.

Here is good illustrated information on how to plan a deck

How to build a deck

Building outdoor stairs