The building is finally complete and you get to enjoy awesome outdoor living on your beautiful new deck.
During this time with constant use the deck can rapidly deteriorate into a total eyesore, this also means that your deck will become an urgent liability.
As a deck gets older, the original design defects tend to become increasingly problematic and it is important to ensure that a thorough inspection of the deck is undertaken by a knowledgeable person at least every two years. It’s no doubt that over time wood deteriorates; with the impact of different and even harsh weather conditions, uncontrolled irrigation systems and of course general
use from foot traffic and furniture being moved around, your deck will quickly become unattractive – discoloration, rotting and splintering.
Moisture from mainly rain water and some morning dew in winter is undoubtedly no good for your deck as wood absorbs moisture – this causes the fibers to expand and later dry out during the day as the wood dries out after the rain goes away or the dew dries off. These frequent cycles of wetting and drying by the day causes continual expansion and contraction of the wood causing water to soak and penetrate further into the wood.
Direct sunlight is another weather element that is damaging for your deck; Ultra-violet rays break down the cells of the wood, destroying any natural preservatives together with the synthetic preservatives that have been applied and South Africa has some of the highest UV levels in the world.
Because wood has the ability to attract and hold water molecules from its surrounding environment; the deck boards are continually expanding or contracting from moisture absorption and this in turn can cause fixings on the deck to become loosened. If not attended to, this allows movement of the boards and they can begin to twist, bow or even just check, split and splinter.
Other items that need to be checked are loose treads on steps, shaky balustrades, termite activity, bird droppings and also pot plants standing on the deck which can cause rot if they’re not stood on blocks.
Surrounding trees or bushes must be kept trimmed back to keep moisture, dirt and even insects from accumulating on the deck. This also helps to keep the birds at a distance.
Even composite decks need regular checking for mildew or mould growths especially in damper coastal regions, bird droppings, food and oil stains and are highly prone to scratches from pets claws, furniture and shoes.