How to Maintain Your Deck

So you finally have a deck. It’s just how you always imagined: big, perfectly structured, and well-designed. But how can you maintain your deck so it always looks that great?

Martha Stewart has some basic care tips to help you out:

1. Use a broom made for outdoor surfaces, and sweep as often as needed to eliminate dust and debris.
2. Hose occasionally to remove substances that stain.
3. Start with the gentlest cleaning methods. If these don’t work, try products with stronger chemicals.
4. Before you work with cleaning products or apply stains or sealants, read all directions carefully.
5. Use only natural-bristle or plastic scrub brushes. Metal brushes can scratch surfaces easily and cause staining.
6. Saturate surfaces with water before using cleaning solutions to avoid staining. Never let cleaning solutions dry on surfaces. Cool, overcast days are best for this task.
7. Be certain to rinse all cleaning solutions thoroughly from surfaces with plain water.
8. Avoid power washing, except on concrete. It can save time, but it can also etch some types of brick and soft stone, damage mortar joints, and splinter wood.

To see care tips for specific types of decks, such as brick, concrete, or wood, click here.

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