The lifespan of a deck built from southern pine can be easily extended if you take good care of the wood. You can add about thirty years to its life by following some simple maintenance procedures.
Step 1 – Weekly Deck Sweeping and Cleaning
Your southern pine deck should be protected from the elements of nature on a regular basis. Once a week, clean any debris and residue from the wood. Use a push brush to carefully sweep your deck. Leaves in particular should never be left on the wood deck. If they become wet they become difficult to remove and can cause staining. If necessary, use a forceful spray from your garden hose to clean any residue that could cause potential stains.
Step 2 – Monthly Deck Scrubbing
Scrub your southern pine deck once a month to thoroughly clean it. Use a cleaning solution that is suitable for southern pine. You can purchase the cleaner from a local hardware store. Speak with a professional and explain the type of wood you are cleaning. Read the directions provided with the cleaning solution before you begin. Use your garden hose to completely soak the deck with water before you apply the cleaner. This will prevent the wood from absorbing the cleaning solution. When you are washing the wood on your deck be hesitant about using a power washer to remove stubborn residue or stains. While power washers apply a great deal of pressure for cleaning, they can also do damage to wood. The force of the water can potentially splinter your southern pine wood deck. It is best to refrain from using a power washer on a wood deck.
Step 3 – Repairing Your Deck
Check your deck for any damage or stains that may have occurred. Be especially careful to check damage to the boards, and the nails and screws securing the boards. If there is anything loose, be sure to tighten and repair those items before you begin the protecting and sealing process.
Step 4 – Protecting and Sealing Your Deck
Be sure to choose a water repellent sealant that is safe and appropriate for southern pine. Choose either a transparent or semi-transparent permanent sealant. Read the instructions provided with the finishing product before you begin to apply it. Use your paint roller brush and extension to apply the sealant. Pour the sealant into your paint pan. Immerse the paint roller into the sealant. Roll out any excess liquid from the roller. Begin working at the furthest point of the deck. Roll the water-repellent sealant onto the wood. Work backwards on the deck to prevent being painted into a corner. Continue applying the sealant until the entire deck is covered. Allow the deck enough time to dry completely. Once the deck is dry, apply the sealant to any parts of the wood that you may have been unable to reach.