A deck offers the ideal spot to unwind, spend time with family, or entertain friends. If you’re looking to get a new deck, check out some of the latest deck designs for 2021. Regardless of the deck material or design you choose, your deck requires regular cleaning and maintenance to retain its appearance and structural integrity.

Ensure your deck stays beautiful and safe for years to come with these dos and don’ts.

Best Practices

Inspect Your Deck

Performing an annual inspection of your deck’s surface and substructure helps you catch problems before they develop into larger, more costly situations. Check for these common issues:

  • Ground contact or joist issues
  • Rot
  • Moisture damage
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Loose fasteners or deck screws
  • Any other structural concerns


An annual cleaning is a must to keep your deck safe and looking its best. Cleaning is especially crucial for wood decking, which needs a yearly exfoliation so the wood can better absorb stain or sealer. Be sure to use the appropriate cleaning brush for the type of decking you have and give the deck ample time to dry (perhaps 48 hours) after cleaning before doing any more work.

Since your deck is exposed to the elements all year, don’t forget to keep the surface free of dirt, leaves, and other debris. Clean the surface periodically, and rinse routinely with a garden hose outfitted with a nozzle.

Sanding, Staining, and Sealing

If you plan to reseal your wood decking, make sure to sand the deck about two days after it’s clean and dry. However, avoid using a power sander because it will likely damage the surface. Applying wood deck stain or sealer will help to protect the wood. During the process, be sure to cover nearby plants and vegetation to protect them from potentially harmful chemicals in cleaners and sealers.

Partner With a Professional for Deck Maintenance

As compared to DIY, a professional cleaning contractor will be more familiar with the equipment and products needed to provide better overall cleaning and maintenance results without the risk of damaging your deck’s surface.

What to Avoid

Prevent damage to your deck by avoiding potentially damaging actions:

  • Avoid using a high-powered pressure washer because pressure washing can damage the wood if not held at a proper angle.
  • Don’t use chlorine bleach to clean your deck. It’s too harsh. Chlorine may strip the deck of its natural color and even damage its structural integrity.
  • Don’t use paint as a sealant. Paint looks good momentarily, but since it doesn’t penetrate the wood, it will quickly peel and crack.
  • Avoid cleaning the deck in direct sunlight as it could cause the cleaner to dry too quickly, causing a white residue.
  • Don’t use a harsh chemical cleaner. The wrong cleaner could discolor or permanently damage your deck’s surface.
  • Don’t assume pressure-treated lumber is maintenance-free. It might resist rot and infestation, but you still need to clean and seal the deck to withstand damage from the elements.

Are you looking for experts for your deck project? Contact Eastern Atlantic Carpentry. We provide top-notch deck carpentry in Emerald Isle, NC. You can trust our experienced team for new deck construction, deck maintenance and repairs, and replacement of stairs and railings.