Deck Maintenance 101: How to Keep Your Deck Looking New

Without regular maintenance, your deck will begin to wear faster, look more rundown and require repairs more frequently. Although it can be a bit of a chore, properly taking care of your outdoor space—much like you take care of your home—is very important.


Granted, some tasks are easier than others. When it comes to refinishing the structure, for instance, you might not have the time, tools or ability to get it done. But instead of stressing about spending your Saturday doing chores, we can do it for you.


At Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale, we offer a range of repair, improvement and maintenance services for both your property's interior and exterior. We can help keep your deck in tip-top shape, but there are a few things you can do to improve its longevity as well. To discover our list of deck maintenance tips, keep reading.

1. Incorporate Sweeping into Your Chore Routine

During the warmer months, sweeping your deck is a small way to make a big impact. Not only is it a quick task you can do after taking out the trash or putting on laundry, making it feel like a natural to-do to get done, but it prevents dust and dirt from building up. Too much debris on your deck's surface will make it look run down and wear on its paint or stain. The best tool to use is a stiff-bristled brush broom as these are made to clean outdoor surfaces. They're typically bigger and more hardy.


During the winter, why not sweep or shovel the structure after you clear the driveway? Keeping heavy snow off your deck will help prevent wood rot and damage come spring.

2. Invest in Pressure Washing

Power washing is a great way to help make your deck look like new. Most power washers range between 1,300 and 3,000 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) to clear away all manner of debris from different surfaces, including dirt, mildew, moss and paint. To put that into perspective, your sink is usually around 30 to 80 PSI. The strength of a pressure washer can prepare deck boards for painting or lightly wash away grime, depending on the setting. Usually, we recommend pressure washing as part of your spring maintenance and cleaning.


Water coming out of a power washer is incredibly strong. When used by an amateur, the results could be disastrous. Pressure washers can cut human skin, possibly harming you or a loved one who gets in the way of the hose's spray. Also, if you don't know how to operate the settings properly, it could damage your property as well. That's why it's best to leave the job to our experts at Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale.

3. Replace Old Deck Stain & Sand Before Staining

As a homeowner, you should re-stain your deck every two to three years, depending on how well you maintain it and how much it's been impacted by changing weather. Before applying a new finish, it's important you sand away the old stain first. This will properly prepare the surface for the fresh coat.

4. Choose the Right Stain

Even if you're going to paint your outdoor space, all wood decks require a clear coating or sealant to protect the wood's integrity. This will help prevent damage from sunlight, rain, wind and wood rot. To test if your sealant is still working, pour a little water on the structure's surface. If it soaks into the wood, it's time to replace the sealant. Make sure you choose a quality UV protector sealant to stop the sun's harmful rays from damaging the structure.


When it comes to staining your deck cosmetically, there are a range of different finish options to choose from. Each type of finish has different advantages:

  • Transparent Stain: Is great for new decks that are not damaged as it shows off the wood's natural color and grain.

  • Semi-Transparent Stain: Maintains a natural effect by showing some of the wood's grain, but has some pigmentation. This hides blemishes and enables you to spruce up the look of your outdoor space.

  • Solid-Color Sealant: Solid stain is an opaque color. This creates a vibrant appearance while hiding any damage.

5. Replace Rotted Areas

Wood rot is the enemy of all wood structures. Although it's a natural process as it's intended to clear dead trees from forest floors, on your property it can be worrisome. Dry wood does not rot, since it spores in damp areas. It's important to check areas of your deck that are not usually exposed to sunlight for signs of wood rot. Signs of rot include:

  • Soft wood you could push a screwdriver through

  • Yellow or white discoloration

  • Crumbling or splintering wood


As soon as you notice signs of wood rot, call the experts at Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale. We'll carefully and efficiently replace the damaged areas before it spreads and affects more of your property.

6. Regularly Move Deck Furniture & Plant Pots

One of the simplest ways to prevent wood rot and discoloration from sunlight is to regularly move around your furniture, barbecue and plant pots. Sunlight will bleach areas exposed to it, making colors look uneven. Likewise, moisture hides under pots and tables, so move these items every so often to prevent the wood from getting damp.

7. Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman!

Do you need a little help with your deck maintenance? Whether you want to power wash all your outdoor surfaces or need to refinish your deck, our service technicians have the experience, expertise and skills to get the job done right the first time. We're honored to serve clients throughout Wheaton-Hinsdale and the surrounding areas, including: Roselle, Westmont, Villa Park and Schaumburg.


To get started today, call or text one of our friendly customer service representatives. You can also reach us online by filling out a service request form.