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How do I keep my wood deck looking new?

Pressure treated lumber is the original decking material, but it's an investment like any other.

Often-times a little maintenance can go a long way with a natural wood deck.

Unfortunately for us Ohioans wood decking just doesn’t seem to last very long with the mix of harsh winters and hot summer sun. While many factors can contribute to the lifespan of a deck such as shade and moisture, traffic, or even the specific type of treated wood used, there are also ways to extend the life of any wooden deck.

  • Sealing the wood should begin during construction. There are hundreds of cuts on a deck and each cut reveals fresh lumber susceptible to moisture and decay. The ends of the boards can be sealed even before installation to help prevent splitting and checking.
  • Use a penetrating sealer stain. There are many stain and sealer products on the market but some are better than others. An oil based penetrating stain will soak into the board and not leave any film on the surface. This will ensure that the protective layer won’t be worn off from surface traffic as well as makes reapplication easier because there isn’t an layer of old paint to peel off.
  • Keep the deck elevated. Wood doesn’t like moisture. One of the best things you can do for a deck surface is to elevate it off the ground enough to keep the air moving and the boards dry.
  • Maintenance. Wood will move, crack, and shrink over time. These defects can be lessened if, when a crack starts to form, it is quickly filled and sealed with an exterior wood filler to minimize exposure to moisture and rot.

With a little preventative maintenance even a wood deck can be a beautiful long lasting option.

Steve Keiper

Project Developer

About the Author

As soon as he could lift a hammer, Steve has been building forts and projects in every spare moment. Learning the trade from both grandfathers, he’s been working as a carpenter for the past fifteen years. Now designing outdoor living spaces at the woodland deck company, he puts his passion and skills to use on a daily basis. He spends his free time with friends and family, doing as much outdoors as possible.  


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