How to Maintain a Wood Deck: Best Practices

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    When warm weather comes around, nothing beats relaxing on your deck with a cold drink. However, the dirt and debris make for an ugly spectacle. Plus, you don’t need another list of chores keeping you from relaxing weekends with tasty Texan barbecue.

    Regular deck maintenance keeps your wood decking strong and beautiful. If you want to know how to maintain a wood deck, turn to the experts. As leading contractors for wood decks in San Antonio, TX, our team at All Pro Decks & Patios knows the best practices to follow for maintaining a safe, beautiful deck. Read on to learn more about wood deck maintenance.

    Professional Inspection

    Before we start any project, All Pro will perform an inspection to ensure your deck’s needs and help you plan replacements. Their checklist includes hazardous:

    • Mold
    • Warped boards
    • Splintering boards
    • Unstable structures
    • Water damage
    • Missing or loose hardware

    Our professionals will supply you with a list of what boards need replacement or repair and give you tips on how to fix your deck or explain the process of purchasing a new one. If you want to repair your deck, you can take over the project from here.

    Repairing a deck can take a lot of time, money, and expertise, so installing a new one can solve all your problems in one step. At All Pro, we specialize in designing and building new, completely customized decks that allow you to enjoy your outdoor space effortlessly. If you prefer to repair your old one, here are a few tips to help you repair a deck like a pro.

    Replacing Deck Floor Boards

    Start by removing any damaged planks from your deck by pulling the nails to loosen the boards. Then, measure and cut new planks to fit. Once you have prepared the planks, nail them securely to the frame.

    Sometimes, your deck frame and structure also need replacement boards. Check for loose nails, screws, or bolts, replacing or tightening them as needed.


    After replacing all damaged boards and hardware, the next step involves a thorough cleaning. Remove all furniture, plants, grills, and other accouterments from the deck surface, then use a pressure washer to clean away any accumulated grime.

    Deck cleaning products often consist of special solutions that do more than wash away dirt and debris. These cleansers remove and prevent the growth of algae, lichens, mold, and other hidden growths that might thrive on your deck. Use these cleaners in conjunction with a pressure washer for the best results.

    After cleaning the deck thoroughly, allow the surface to dry completely. This can take a few days, depending on the weather. However, San Antonio’s naturally dry weather usually makes short work of this process. 


    If you had your deck painted or stained previously, scrape the old coat off of your deck’s surface. This ensures no large chips or chunks of paint get in your way throughout the other steps. It also reveals your deck’s bare surface and plays an important role in how to maintain a wood deck properly. 


    Next, use a rotating sander to grind down the wood’s surface. Sanding is an important part of deck maintenance and prep. It prevents splinters from forming in the future, leaving a smooth surface on which you can comfortably walk.

    It also prepares the wood to absorb the stain and sealant. Your deck will have a more intense stain that lasts longer. The waterproofing sealant will also have a more potent, longer-lasting effect on your wood.  


    Staining your deck adds a deep, intense color to your deck’s surface, making the wood look fresh and new. Choose higher-quality stains for a shade that lasts longer under San Antonio’s strong sunlight.

    Since the sun only touches the deck surface, the underside may not require it. We often recommend pressure-treated wood since it resists sun damage from all angles.

    Patiently and carefully apply each coat, ensuring even, precise brushstrokes across the entire deck. Make sure that the stain reaches all the tiny spaces and fissures on the surface.

    Once the entire surface has an even coat of stain, it dries for one or two days. As the stain dries, it also cures, sealing in its protective properties. For the best results, complete two full coats to ensure the wood completely absorbs as much as it needs. 


    Finally, brush a waterproof sealant over your newly-stained deck. While the stain prevents sun damage, the sealant prevents water from seeping into the wood’s porous surface. This step increases your deck’s longevity and strength for years to come.

    Some property owners want to skip this step since San Antonio doesn’t get much rain each year. However, sealing provides the necessary protection against the rain we do get. It works with staining to keep your deck in great condition. 

    Other Maintenance Tips

    In between spring cleanings for your deck and other outdoor areas, you can implement the following routine to make professional maintenance routines last longer:

    • Switch up your patio furniture and potted plants occasionally. This prevents rot from developing in one spot. 
    • Sweep your deck regularly to remove damaging and erosive debris.
    • Opt for synthetic, waterproof rugs instead of ones made from natural materials. Natural materials degrade more quickly, decomposing your patio with them. 
    • Self-inspect occasionally for loose boards or errant nails. Pick up any pieces of fallen hardware to prevent injuries. 

    Remember that stain can typically last up to five years when applied by a professional. Deck sealer can last up to three years or less. Have our professionals inspect your deck each year to ensure it doesn’t need reapplication.

    Get the Most Out of Your Deck, Patio, or Porch with San Antonio’s Deck Professionals

    All Pro Deck & Patio’s professional deck builders have shared their best tips on how to repair your deck. However, if it feels like too much work and you’re ready for a new deck, our deck construction contractors can build you your dream deck, complete with multiple levels, outdoor kitchens, and more. If you’re ready to build a new, more functional deck, call All Pro Decks & Patios in San Antonio, TX, at (210) 660-8250 or schedule an appointment online for your free estimate.

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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