A redwood deck can be a stunning addition to your home. It provides a warm and inviting space for enjoying the outdoors, roasting some BBQ, or hosting a small party. The redwood makes for a great deck material given how easily it blends with every theme and color.
However, to keep it looking pristine and ensure its longevity, regular maintenance is crucial. If you recently had a deck installed in your home and you’re new to deck maintenance keep reading ahead!
Let’s dive into the basics of redwood deck care. We’ll walk you through a comprehensive guide that will help you maintain the beauty and durability of your redwood deck for years to come.
Understanding Redwood Decks
Before we jump into maintenance tips, let’s briefly explore why redwood is such a popular choice for decking material. Redwood is prized for its natural beauty, durability, and resistance to decay and insects. Redwood decks are also known for their ability to withstand weather changes making it a great choice for most climates.
It’s a softwood with rich, reddish-brown hues that can complement any outdoor space. Redwood has oils and tannins that resist rot and insects, so it’s great for exterior structures.
Tips for Redwood Deck Maintenance
The first step in maintaining a pristine redwood deck is regularly cleaning it. We recommend using a broom or leaf blower to remove leaves, dirt, and debris from the surface. Do this at least once a week to prevent everything from accumulating on the surface.
Periodically, give your deck a thorough wash with a mild soap and water solution. As tempting as it might be, DO NOT use harsh chemicals, as these can damage the wood fibers.
Staining Your Redwood Deck
To preserve the natural color and protect your redwood deck from the elements, consider applying a quality deck stain or sealer. A stained redwood deck is less prone to moisture penetration, UV damage, and surface graying.
To ensure it works best, be sure to choose a product specifically designed for redwood staining. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Alternatively, you can also hire someone to do the job if you want.
Inspect and Replace Damaged Boards
Regularly inspect your redwood deck railing and surface for any signs of damage. These could be warped or cracked boards, loose fasteners, or protruding nails.
Try and replace these damaged boards as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration and ensure safety. Tighten any loose fasteners or poking nails to prevent tripping or stabbing hazards.
Avoid Standing Water
Standing water on your deck can lead to wood decay and discoloration. To prevent this, ensure that your deck has proper drainage. Be sure to wipe off excess water after washing the deck or after rain or snow.
If you have plants on the deck, use saucers to prevent water from collecting beneath potted plants. You can also place furniture pads beneath your deck furniture to prevent water from accumulating under them.
Prevent Mold and Mildew
Redwood decks, like any outdoor structure, can be susceptible to mold and mildew growth, especially if you live in a damp or shaded area. To prevent this, ensure proper drainage and ventilation when planning out your deck design.
If you spot a mold or mildew problem, you need to act promptly and deal with it as fast as you can. Hire professionals to get rid of it or you can use a mildew-resistant cleaner and a soft-bristle brush to remove any existing growth.
Sand and Refinish
Over time, the surface of your redwood deck may become rough or splintered. This can make it appear dull and old, which doesn’t look good for any homeowner.
To restore its smoothness and luster, you can sand the deck using fine-grit sandpaper. After sanding, apply a fresh coat of stain or sealer to protect the wood and enhance its appearance. Trust us, it will start to look as good as new!
Use Protective Mats
If you have kids and your deck sees a lot of stomping feet often, you might want to consider placing outdoor rugs or mats in high-traffic areas. This will help protect your redwood deck from scratches and wear.
These mats also help trap dirt and debris, reducing the amount that gets ground into the wood. So it functions as a preservation shield.
3 Best Ways To Clean Redwood Decks
We mentioned before how cleaning your redwood deck is important for maintaining it. Here are the best ways to do that:
Mild Soap and Water Solution
A mild soap and water solution is a safe and effective way to clean your redwood deck. Simply mix a few drops of mild liquid dish soap with warm water and apply it to the deck using a soft-bristle brush or mop.
Scrub the surface gently, focusing on areas with stains, dirt, or mildew. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the deck to dry completely before applying any sealant or stain.
Pressure Washing (with Caution)
Pressure washing can be an efficient way to clean a redwood deck, it can help remove dirt and debris that has accumulated over time. However, it should be done with care to avoid damaging the wood.
Use a pressure washer with a fan tip nozzle and set it to a low-pressure setting (around 1200-1500 PSI). Keep the nozzle at least 12 inches away from the deck’s surface and move it in the direction of the wood grain to prevent damage. Avoid holding the nozzle too close or using excessive pressure, as this can cause splintering or gouging.
Deck Cleaner and Brightener
Deck cleaners specifically designed for redwood and other wood types can be highly effective. These cleaners often contain mild chemicals that break down dirt, stains, and mildew.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application carefully. After applying the cleaner, use a scrub brush or deck brush to agitate the surface gently, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Some deck cleaners also come with brighteners to restore the wood’s natural color. Make sure the chemical you use is safe for redwood before you use it!
With proper care and maintenance, your redwood deck can continue to look as pristine as it did when it was newly installed. It’s no secret that redwood decks can be expensive to install. Make sure you make your money’s worth by taking care of it! After all, who wants to spend all that money to end up with a musty-looking deck in just a few short months?