Expert Deck Maintenance in Northern Virginia
When warm weather arrives, Northern Virginia residents can't wait to head out to the backyard deck to relax, grill dinner, chase the kids or dogs around, and soak up the sunshine. But summertime just isn't as pleasant if you've got a neglected structure that is in serious need of deck maintenance. Northern Virginia homeowners are proud of their properties, and unsightly damage such as rotten boards or wobbly railings can be difficult to overlook when you want to invite family and friends over for fun in the sun.
That damage isn't just a cosmetic problem that can be simply solved with deck cleaning. It can also pose a serious hazard to your household that could result in injuries, from splinters to falls. The best way to avoid those unpleasant problems and keep your outdoor living space looking its very best is to call a qualified handyman for annual deck maintenance. Northern Virginia handyman professionals at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket have the skill and experience to deliver top quality workmanship and dependable customer service.
Our Professional Northern Virginia Deck Maintenance Services
Decks can last a long time if cared for properly with professional deck maintenance. Northern Virginia handymen on our team offer a wide range of routine maintenance services for wooden decks, including pressure washing, board replacement, and staining.
Deck Board Replacement
Over time deck boards can deteriorate, rot, crack or splinter, so board replacement is a common part of deck maintenance. Northern Virginia homeowners may choose to have boards replaced all at once or one at a time, depending on how widespread the damage is.
Wooden boards can also be replaced with composite decking material. However, in these cases support boards or joists must be close enough together to support the composite material. Because composite boards are more flexible, they often require the installation of additional joists prior to installing the composite decking boards.
Weathered, splintery, gray boards are one of the top problems that call for deck maintenance. Northern Virginia property owners find them unattractive and don't want to risk getting a splinter in the bottom of a bare foot, but it's also an early warning sign of moisture damage, which can lead to wood rot.
In the before and after images below, you can see a dramatic difference in appearance once board replacement was completed. The next step is to protect wood with coats of solid stain or paint followed by sealant to give it basic protection against moisture and prevent future weathering damage.
Outdoor spaces such as a wooden deck are particularly vulnerable to wood rot, which only affects timber that has a significantly elevated moisture content. A deck’s surface is typically protected with paint or stain and sealant, but protective coatings wear away or peel off over time and your structure can be compromised by rot because it's constantly being soaked by rainwater, snow or humidity.
Timber can't really be restored to the same condition it was once in after it begins to rot, so if you notice signs of rot, putting in a replacement board is the best strategy for deck maintenance. Northern Virginia homeowners can trust our team to find and replace all rotted patches, and apply treatments to prevent rot from spreading further.
Deck Stair Repair and Replacement
In some cases, stairs need to be replaced not because they are damaged or deteriorated, but because the current configuration or shape isn't ideal for the needs of your household. For example, a homeowner may not want a long staircase. One way of accommodating this is to install a platform or landing in the middle of the staircase, as our team did for one Northern Virginia homeowner in the images below. Or, if individual stair heights are uncomfortably steep, our team can extend the staircase to allow for a shorter height stair riser.
Deck stairs can also wear out over time and become unstable and unsafe until they are fixed or replaced with deck repair. In some cases, the stringers, which are the boards that support stairs, can crack, rot, or weaken. As you can see below, these stringers are showing some telltale signs of water damage such as peeling paint and rotting, softened wood. Our team replaced them with new, solid timber to ensure the structure is safe and sturdy again.
As a structure ages, it tends to attract algae or dirt. One of the most efficient and effective ways of cleaning a deck is to pressure wash it. Power washing is simply using a pressure washer machine to apply highly pressurized water to the surface of the deck to remove the discoloration. However, it is important to not damage the wood during this process. The transformation can be surprising, as you can see in the photos below. Once the washing is complete, the deck is stripped of layers of dirt and algae and looks just as good as the day it was installed.
Staining is a way to seal or preserve the deck. This consists of applying a stain or sealer to the deck. This can either be transparent to essentially apply a topcoat over the wood and allow the wood’s natural color to be seen or the stain can be tinted, which allows the homeowner to choose the color of the deck. This is often done after pressure washing, however, it is extremely important to allow the deck to thoroughly dry before applying a stain or sealer.
Signs You Need Deck Maintenance in Northern Virginia
By now you may be wondering if it's necessary to call your handyman right now, or if your structure can hold on for another few seasons without deck maintenance. Northern Virginia residents can save themselves time, money and hassle by proactively getting minor problems resolved and preventing new ones from popping up with regular deck maintenance.
Here are some of the major indications that you need Northern Virginia deck maintenance or repair services:
- Gray, splintery boards
- Discoloration from built-up dirt and grime
- Organic growth such as algae, lichen or moss
- Peeling wood stain or paint
- Structure is leaning or tearing away from house
- Wobbly railings
- Loose, shaky newel post
- Creaky or broken steps
- Structure is sagging in the middle
- Destructive infestations such as termites
- Cracked or crumbling concrete footings
- Water pooling around footings
Northern Virginia Deck Maintenance Tips
After having a handyman take care of professional deck maintenance, Northern Virginia homeowners are sometimes interested in a few deck maintenance tips to help keep their structure in excellent condition going forward. Regular maintenance is important to prevent damage or catch it early on, and that often means preventing water from seeping into the timber by any means necessary.
Here are some tips to help preserve your structure:
- A couple of times per year, check the entire structure carefully for any signs of rot.
- Trim back nearby tree branches and bushes so damp leaves don't drip on your structure.
- Move flower planters and patio furniture around every couple of months so they don't trap moisture against the surface in one place.
- Avoid using mats and rugs that attract and hold water. If you can't do without them, plastic is a better choice than natural fibers because it drains more readily instead of absorbing water.
Time for Deck Maintenance, Northern Virginia? Call Mr. Handyman!
From repairs and deck cleaning service to regular services for deck maintenance, Northern Virginia property owners can rely on the team of handyman professionals at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket. That includes locations such as Fairfax Station, Gainesville, Lorton and many others. We have decades of combined experience with tasks such as deck maintenance, and may be able to spot potential trouble that others would miss and get it fixed up before it has the opportunity to cause you stress.
Call us today at 703-621-4817 to chat with our courteous customer service staff and find out more about how we can transform your deck into an attractive retreat with the right deck maintenance services. Or, schedule a convenient time for home improvement, repair, installation and maintenance services.