Not only is the deck the perfect chill-out zone for summer afternoons—great for throwing back a few cold ones and soaking up some rays as burgers sizzle on the grill.
It’s also a major boost to the value of your home—turns out, home buyers of all stripes love their decks.
According to Home Remodeling Magazine, homeowners upgraded their yards with a deck recouped about 80% of the remodel cost when they resold their home.
While decks tend to be one of the better returns on investment when it comes to add-ons and upgrades, they do come with a hefty dose of maintenance.
Here’s a little background info on protecting your deck against damage from pests, as well as the elements:
Beware of What’s Beneath
Deck life isn’t all just living in sun-drenched paradise. Being exposed to the elements and all, damage caused by termites, as well as wood rot can be a real issue for homeowners with decks.
It’s no surprise that termites tend to go after wooden decks like there’s no tomorrow. A veritable feast for these pesky little critters, unprotected decks are subject to damage in the form of structural damage. Termites bore through wood in pencil width tunnels, undermining the structure little by little. Meaning, if left undetected, your deck could become a real safety hazard, or at the very least, look pretty darn shabby,
Termites aren’t the only threat. Wood rot, which takes a few different forms is another issue facing our favorite backyard infrastructure.
Dry rot, for example, is a real messy problem and can cause an outbreak in your deck, and spread out from there. Identified by spore growth or by a “fruiting” fungus–dry rot begins in damp wood, but can spread to dry pieces of timber.
Wet rot, isn’t quite as destructive as dry rot, but it can cause some unsightly mold and undermine the structural of your deck. Wet rot, which often occurs in wet timber, can be identified by fungal growth, a damp, musty smell or dark and weakened deck boards.
Bottom line, if anything looks off, it’s a good idea to get help.
Maintenance is Key Here
What’s on the outside counts, too! Staying up to date on deck maintenance is just as important as all the small stuff you do to protect your home from damage inside.
Cleaning — Look, you need to clean your deck just like you need to clean your floors or your toilet. Deck cleaners are designed to get rid of dirt, mildew, mold and so on, making things look great, smell fresh, and most importantly, protect against wood rot down the road.
Plus, dirt covered decks don’t easily absorb stains or paint, leaving you with dark and dingy looking lumber–not ideal.
Painting and Sealing — Painting and sealing isn’t this one and done kind of thing. In most cases, you’ll want to repaint or re-stain your deck every year to ensure a proper seal. If it’s not obvious, painting and sealing can help prevent water from seeping into your deck, causing rot, mold, mildew or leading to an invitation for pests to stake a claim in the space.
Protect your Investment!
Annual deck inspections are one of those preventative measures you don’t want to skip.
You wouldn’t just leave a bag of cash out in the open or your car unlocked—so be wise and protect your deck. While ongoing maintenance is the best defense against damage, sometimes it’s smart to get a second opinion.
Any sign of wood damage, nip the problem in the bud, so you’re not subjecting your home to structural damage down the road.
Call Best Rate Repair at 619-229-0116 for a free inspection and estimate, and we’ll take things from there.