Composite Deck Maintenance

red chairs around a table with an umbrella up on a low to the ground composite deck

So you’ve heard that composite decks require less maintenance, but how much is less?

Unlike a wood deck

First off we must set the bar for what is considered “less.” Wood decks require sealing every one to three years. Before being resealed, they must be deep cleaned and sanded. This is time consuming and expensive. 

In addition, if boards rot on a wood deck they must be replaced, lest they become a safety hazard. 

Composite decks maintenance

A composite deck like a Trex deck just requires a wash once a year. This can be done with a hose and mild cleaner or with a pressure washer. If you do it with a hose and mild cleaner, it can easily be done without the assistance of professional companies.

Because they are not wood, there is no need to worry about moisture getting in and warping the boards.

Composite deck boards will not rot or attract insects which make their home in wood, saving you money on replacing boards or pest extermination.

 

 

 

 

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Why Choose Composite Decking

deck cleaning

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

William Shakespeare

 

It might not matter what you call a rose, but when it comes to decks, there are differences between wood and composite decking. If you’re considering resurfacing your deck, you should know some benefits to different types of decking. 

 

What is composite?

Composite is a mixture of recycled plastic and recycled wood. 

 

Why should you choose composite decking over wood?

 

Less maintenance.

Unlike a wood deck, a composite deck does not need to be stained, sanded, or sealed. Just a quick rinse with a mild cleaner in the spring is enough to maintain it. Nor do you have to  worry about moisture seeping in and warping planks if not properly sealed. 

No Splinters! 

Composite boards are completely safe for barefoot kids and pets to relax and play on without worrying about splinters, because unlike wood, which will eventually splinter, composite doesn’t.

Environmentally conscious.

 Composite decks are made from recycled materials, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly chose over wood.

Durability.

They won’t mold and rot like wood will, and although they are more expensive at first, they will pay for themselves overtime with the lower maintenance requirement  

Look

Although the early composite planks looked like they were made of plastic, now many are available with realistic wood grains pressed in. Modern composite decks are an attractive option.

 

 

It’s true that wood is cheaper initially, but composite will pay for the difference very quickly with money saved from the lack of maintenance. Overall, composite is an excellent choice when resurfacing or building a deck.

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Deck Resurfacing or Rebuilding

staining a deck is part of deck refinishing

vestis virum facit”–Erasmus

 

If clothes make the man, then imagine what fully resurfacing a deck can do. 

 

To Resurface or Rebuild

 

Resurfacing is a great alternative to rebuilding when the underlying structure of the deck is sound. It results in a deck that looks brand new, with an entirely different look that the tired and worn out deck you had before but for a fraction of the cost.

 

If the underlying structure of the deck is not safe, a complete rebuild may be necessary

 

What is Deck Resurfacing?

 

Chevy Chase Exteriors offers two options for deck resurfacing. Option A, starts with replacing any boards that are damaged, then we deep clean the deck, before painting or staining and sealing it. This not only helps the longevity of the deck (as the paint or stain helps prevent cracks) but rejuvenates the appearance of the deck as well.

 

Option B is a more extensive resurfacing, replacing all the boards with different kinds of boards. For instance you might replace wooden boards with composite. This not only gives you an entirely different look from what you had before, but gives you the benefits of a composite deck as well. 

Rebuilding

Rebuilding is a better choice when the underlying deck structure is unsafe, or is older and might become unsafe soon. Alternatively, rebuilding might also be a good option if you want to change the lines of the deck. Rebuilding involves entirely tearing down the deck, and starting over from scratch.

 

Whichever you choose, rebuilding or resurfacing, give Chevy Chase Exteriors a call at 202-470-3762 to see how we can help you

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Decks: Stain Vs Paint

To paint or stain the deck, that is the question. 

Whether ‘tis nobler to totally color the wood

With a solid paint, which gets into the cracks.

Or to use a stain, which mostly lays atop

And lets you see the beauty underneath.

These opposing questions must be answered

For once you have painted there is no going back

To the less pigmented, natural looking stain.

 

The decision whether to paint or stain a deck is a tough one to make, and once a deck is painted it must stay painted.

 

About Painted Decks


Paint is thick and highly pigmented, resulting in a completely solid color.  Painting offers a more modern look, and more protection from the elements, while staining showcases the beauty of the wood and a more classic look. 

 

Because paint is thicker than stain, it can also fill in small cracks in the wood, resulting in a healthier deck. The right paint can also help the wood resist weather damage, and can be easier to clean than a stained deck.

 

However once a deck is painted it is nearly impossible to go back to the natural look of stain. So think carefully!

 

About Stained Decks

 

Staining a deck allows the beauty of the natural wood to shine through. Stains are transparent and tint the wood a different color, but the character of the wood is still readily visible. It offers a more classic wood deck appearance.

 

Staining and sealing a deck must be redone more often than paint, but stain is less slippery to walk on. 

 

Remember, it’s easy to paint over stain, but impossible to stain over paint.

 

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The Importance of Deck Repair

Deck Renovations

Although deck repair can leave your outdoor space looking brand new, the main purpose of doing repairs is  for safety.  There are plenty of ways someone can accidentally hurt themselves on a deck if it is in disrepair; rotting boards may collapse, nails can lead to tripping, and railings might give way when leaned against.  One of the worst possibilities is a raised deck collapsing while occupied.  Because decks always face the elements, they can wear down quickly.  Sun, rain, and snow can all impact the health of your deck.  Luckily, proper maintenance can keep your deck functional for years to come.  Here are common problems that can be solved with deck repair:

Mold & Mildew

Not only are mold and mildew unsightly; they also make your deck a slipping hazard while eating away at the wood.  The growths can also be a danger to people, too, since the spores that some molds release have the potential to cause respiratory infections and allergic reactions.

Wood Rot

If any wood on your deck is soft or spongy, decay is almost always the cause.  Insects such as carpenter bees can bore into the wood, bringing structural damage with them.  Decks with a large amount decay are unstable and likely to collapse.  A professional inspection can clarify whether the boards need replacements or not.

Loose Railings

Railings are meant to protect people from falling over the ledge of a deck—therefore it’s imperative that your deck’s railings are healthy.  If your railings do not feel stable, it may be time to contact a professional to repair them.

If you want a professional’s expertise on deck repairs, visit our deck page or call us at 202-981-0468.  We would be happy to help you  make the most of your outdoor space! We help customers with all of their deck cleaning and maintenance needs in lower Montgomery County, MD and Northwest DC.

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The Benefits of Regular Deck Staining

The Benefits of Regular Deck Staining

Decks can be damaged by the harsh elements no matter how sturdy they seem

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The Importance of Deck Cleaning and Maintenance

deck cleaning

While a deck can serve as a great outdoor space for any home, many homeowners are not aware of the importance of deck cleaning and maintenance.  Here are three reasons why upkeep is key to making the most of your deck:

Property Value: 

Your deck acts as a natural extension of your house; to get the most out of it, regular cleaning is required.  A well-maintained deck can increase the property value and curb appeal of a home.  Without correct care, however, decks can actually decrease the value of a property.  A deck that requires extensive work to restore will draw the negative attention of homebuyers.  Luckily, regular cleaning and maintenance can keep your deck looking as good as new, while also benefitting the value of your property overall.

Health & Safety: 

While green growths on a deck are eyesores, they can also be hazards to one’s safety and health. Rain causes mold, mildew, and algae to spread on a deck’s surface.  Thanks to the unwanted growths, the deck’s surface can become slippery and hazardous. Mold and algae can also cause serious health issues. If your deck is bad shape, don’t be discouraged; there are methods to restore your deck to its original state. The importance of deck cleaning and maintenance is not only to benefit its appearance—it also curbs the negative effects of growths, making your deck a safe place to relax and entertain.

Preventative Measures:

Your deck doesn’t need to be old to benefit from cleaning—in fact, there are many methods that can help prolong a new deck.  If you want to stain or seal you deck, investing in a thorough deck cleaning beforehand will pay off in the long run.  Having your deck washed is a way to ensure amazing results that will last longer, while also reducing the amount of maintenance required in the future.

Deck Lifespan: 

The unpleasant and unhealthy growths that develop on your deck are not only a health hazard; your deck’s lifespan can also become greatly compromised and reduced. Your deck has a lifespan just like any other component of your home.  Due to its outdoor location, your deck is never spared from the elements of nature.  The breakdown process caused by rain, moisture, and sun’s UV rays can wreak havoc if not treated properly.  The effects of the weather are inevitable no matter what material your deck is made of, but there are ways to greatly expand the life of your deck.

If you aren’t sure where to start, visit our deck page or call us at 202-981-0468.  We would be happy to help you  make the most of your outdoor space! We help customers with all of their deck cleaning and maintenance needs in lower Montgomery County, MD and Northwest DC.

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