Your deck is an important part of your home’s outdoor living space, providing a place for relaxation, entertainment, and gatherings. But did you know that there are some common mistakes that can ruin your deck. Let’s discuss some of the unexpected factors that can harm your deck and how to prevent them.
Are Grills and Fire Pits Safe to Have on a Deck
Grilling and enjoying a cozy fire pit are two popular outdoor activities that can also cause damage to your deck. The intense heat from a grill or fire pit can warp or even ignite your deck’s surface. To prevent this from happening, make sure your grill or fire pit is placed on a fire-resistant surface like a patio block or concrete slab. You can also purchase a heat-resistant pad to place under your grill or fire pit, but the best solution is to work the grill into your overall deck design with your contractor for optimal safety and longevity of your deck.
How Does Organic Matter Impact a Deck?
Leaving organic matter, such as leaves and branches, on your deck can cause several problems. As organic matter decomposes, it releases acids that can eat away at the finish on your deck and even cause the wood to rot. Leaves and other debris can also trap moisture, leading to mold and mildew growth. To avoid these issues, be sure to regularly sweep your deck and remove any organic matter as soon as possible.
Will Using Outdoor Carpet Harm My Deck?
While outdoor carpet can be a great way to add comfort and style to your deck, it can also cause damage if not installed correctly. Outdoor carpet can trap moisture, leading to mold and mildew growth. It can also cause the wood to rot if it is not properly installed with a breathable surface underneath. Outdoor carpeting is also not recommended for Trex decking as the backing of the outdoor carpet can cause discoloration and damage to the decking’s surface in addition to the potential for mold and rot. If you decide to use outdoor carpet, be sure to choose a breathable material and have it installed by a professional.
Is Water Harmful to a Deck?
Water damage is another common cause of deck damage. While it might seem obvious that rain and moisture can harm your deck, you might not realize that other sources of water can also cause problems. For example, sprinklers or plants that are overwatered can create standing water on your deck, leading to rot and decay. To prevent water damage, make sure your deck is sloped away from your home and other structures, and use a sealant to protect the wood. Leaving wet items, such as towels and planters, on your deck for an extended period can also cause water damage. The moisture from these items can seep into the wood, leading to mold and mildew growth. Wet towels and other items can stain the wood, leaving unsightly marks that are difficult to remove. To avoid these problems, be sure to remove wet items from your deck as soon as possible.
Finally, harsh chemicals can also be one of the surprising things that can ruin your deck. While it might be tempting to use bleach or other cleaning solutions to get your deck looking like new, these chemicals can damage the wood and the finish. Instead, use a gentle cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris from your deck.
There are many surprising things that can ruin your deck, from heavy furniture to pet scratches to harsh chemicals. By being aware of these potential sources of damage and taking preventative measures, you can help ensure that your deck stays in good shape for years to come. If you’re unsure about how to properly care for your deck, consider consulting with a professional deck builder or contractor like Craiger Custom Design. We can provide expert advice on maintenance and repairs to keep your deck looking great.