categories | articles | write a review | design your space
log in | sign up ARE YOU A HOME PRO?

Keep your deck looking fresh with these maintenance tips [VIDEOS]

There’s nothing better than having a perfectly stained deck in the yard, especially if you’re the type of homeowner that wants to host a lot of backyard BBQs. But all that entertaining is sure to wear down the deck. Get it back in tiptop shape with our deck maintenance guide. Your deck builder will be so proud that you’ve restored the deck to its original beauty. 

No matter how fast you’ve worked to clean up after a night of entertaining, your deck, whether it’s brand new or built by a decking contractor several years ago, it’s bound to get dirty. But if you take the following maintenance precautions, you can get your deck looking brand new in no time.

Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:

Paint scraper$10
Scrub brush$4
Pressure washer$200
Garden hose$35
Paint roller$25
Plastic sheeting$17
Safety glasses$11
Safety mask$28
Deck cleaner$10
Total project cost$392

Note: the prices are simply an estimate!

deck tools

Prep the deck for cleaning

Taking a pressure washer to the deck may not be enough to get rid of the dirt and grime that’s been sitting on the deck for extended periods of time. That’s why you should do the following:

  • Use a paint scraper to remove loose paint and stains.
  • Sand each area to prevent splinters.
  • Take a scrub brush to the deck to remove any dirt. Use a brush with soft bristles, as a metal brush may damage the decking material.

Wash the deck

Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But rather than just hose it down with water, you’ll want to visit your local hardware store to purchase a deck cleaner that will work to remove grime and other build-up. The video below from Canadian Tire illustrates how to properly clean your deck using cleaning solution and a pressure washer.

If you don’t already have a pressure washer, then Canadian Tire can help you with that too! Take a look at their buying guide:

The type of cleaning solution you will use largely depends on the type of deck you have:

Wood deck: use a standard deck cleaner that can be purchased at a hardware store, but read the instructions on how to use it.

Composite deck: use a cleaner specifically formulated for composite. Any other solution may damage the material.

Vinyl/Cellular PVC: a mix of warm water and mild soap will suffice.

Fix nail pops

Keeping your deck in proper shape takes more than spraying water over it to sweep away dirt. If nails are coming loose from a board, carefully remove the nail with a hammer and use a screw that’s longer than the nail to reattach the board. This will not only improve the longevity of the deck, but ensure your safety while walking on the deck as well!


Repair splits in the material

Another safety hazard to watch out for is wooden boards that are coming apart. Here’s how you repair the broken pieces:

  1. Cut the board with a jigsaw and remove any nails from the damaged wood.
  2. Use deck screws to attached a pressure-treated 2-by-4-inch support block to the joist. The purpose of the block is to hold the replacement board in position.
  3. Next, cut a replacement board to size and fasten it to the support block using deck screws.
    If you have a board that’s split down the middle, mark the damaged board next to the leading edge of the first support joist that’s completely past the split. Be sure not to mark an area that’s directly over a joist or you could damage your saw when you begin cutting.

If the new board looks higher and wider than the existing deck board, don’t be alarmed. It will shrink once the moisture escapes it.

Yikes! These decks have seen better days.

Yikes! These decks have seen better days.

Stain and/or seal

If you’ve already taken the initiative to stain your wood deck, then that’s great! Otherwise, be sure to check out our guide on how to stain it!

Regardless of staining, it’s important to seal the deck. Choose a clear sealant with a UV protector – it will breathe new life into the deck without changing its colour while protecting it from the elements!

While sealing the deck, remember the following:

  • Carefully read the instructions since different sealants need to penetrate the deck for a period of time;
  • Wear protective eyewear and gloves while applying. You can never be too safe!

deck staining

Waterproof the deck

This is not to get confused with a deck sealer. Applying a waterproofing solution to your deck. It keeps rain, snow and dirt from penetrating the wood, which will ensure the longevity of your deck.

Using a pump sprayer, apply the waterproofing solution to the boards and let it sit for 24 hours. Then sand until the deck is smooth.

There you have it! Now that you’re armed with the tools and advice you need to properly maintain your backyard deck, get out there and do it!


If you think it’s time for a new deck, save yourself the trouble by hiring one of our decking contractors to do the work. Scroll through image galleries in our online directory and start getting inspired. When they visit your place to chat about your very own deck, they’ll come up with a design that suits your taste and budget.

More in Decking

DIY: Make your deck the focal point in your yard by staining it

Is your decking contractor a fraud? This expert weighs in

Array ( [0] => 7 )