Decks are subjected to some harsh elements. To keep your deck in great shape and ready for entertaining adhering to an annual maintenance schedule will do wonders.

Since your deck is generally used year round you can spread your maintenance work over the seasons.

Your deck will be in top shape for friends and family to enjoy.

Maintenance Schedule

The following is a simple plan to keep your deck safe, looking great and ready to enjoy:

Late Spring

Several actions need to be taken at this time. You should wash and then seal your deck.

Your deck will probably have picked up some grime, mold and mildew since its last cleaning.

  • A good washing will be in order. Make sure to clean in cracks and crevices. There are products made specifically for cleaning a deck.

Clean from bottom to top so no marks are left after you clean. There are cleaners made just for composite decks.

  • After the washing you should seal the deck. This will insure your deck has a long life.

There are several types of stains to choose from for a wood deck depending on if you want the wood grain to show or not. Composite decks can be restored to their original color also.

Just make sure the product you use is intended for that purpose.


This time of year is good to check on the deck’s structural integrity. You are looking for any signs of rot and just weak areas in general.

  • Check areas underneath the deck using a flashlight. Make sure all wood is solid and not compromised in any way.
  • Inspect the boards on top of the deck for cracks and weak areas.
  • Rails and any other posts on top of the deck should be checked thoroughly.
  • Pay special attention to any area near drains or downspouts. The moisture can wreak havoc on your deck.

Early Fall

This is the time to perform preventive maintenance on your deck. Keeping problems from ever getting started will generally keep your deck in great condition.

  • View the nails on the deck. If any heads are barely sticking up they can be hammered back in. If a nail is sticking too far out remove it and insert a screw to keep the board fastened.
  • Trim back bushes and trees that are within 12 inches of the deck. Mold and mildew love wet area.
  • Check the deck corners for leaves and other debris.
  • Move deck furniture to keep discoloring from taking place.
  • Repair gutters, drains and downspouts near the deck.

Proper Maintenance Saves Time

A good maintenance schedule will stop issues before they even get started. By doing some upkeep year round it’s easier to stay on top of things.

You also don’t have to devote a large amount of time at any one time on your deck.

Enjoy Your Deck

Your deck is probably a focal point when it comes to entertaining. To truly enjoy this area you want to keep the deck looking great but you also want it to be safe and sound.

Keeping your deck in top shape will increase your enjoyment of it.

Image by kevinmarsh and licensed through Creative Commons.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons

image source

Jerry Hahn is a local handyman living in Des Moines, IA and specializing in door repair and replacement services.