How to Prevent Mold Growth on your Deck
Storm season is upon us once again here on the West Coast. From spectacular waves breaking along the shores to wicked rain and windstorms, the fall season is an exciting spectacle to witness. On the other hand, excess moisture falling from the sky brings mold issues that must be dealt with.
Surely, relaxing and enjoying outdoor living on the deck is a great Canadian pastime. However, the relaxation aspect is accompanied by the maintenance aspect. Taking good care of your gorgeous cedar deck will make it last upwards of 15 years and avoid an early and pricey replacement.
Fortunately, the experts at Longhouse know how to help when it comes to preventing mold growth on your deck.
Keep Your Deck Clean and Clear of Debris
A regular cleaning goes miles toward preventing mold growth on your deck.
To begin cleaning, sweep the deck frequently with a soft-bristled broom. Doing so not only sweeps away dirt and damp leaves, but also swoops away microscopic mold spores. Every few weeks should suffice. Just make sure to avoid using a stiff broom that can damage cedar material.
A second step is to clean your deck annually with an eco-friendly oxygen bleach solution. Simply add water to the bleach per the manufacturer’s directions. Sweep first, then apply to decking with a soft scrub brush. Let sit, then spray with a garden hose.
Seal the Deck
A new deck will last longer with a sealant. This should only be done under dry weather conditions. Cedar decking should be sanded prior to staining to help the stain adhere.
Longhouse Specialty Forest Products offers pre-finished custom cut cedar decking. Decks should be resealed every few years for durability and optimum protection from mold growth.
Decrease Moisture Underneath the Deck
If a deck is low to the ground, there might not be enough space for moisture to evaporate. Luckily, there are several methods to increase ventilation.
Firstly, you can drill holes around the perimeter. Otherwise, you can replace the deck skirt with lattice work.
Another option is to install a drainage trench and pipe to direct water away from the deck. Once a trench is dug, a drainage pipe can be placed and covered over. Doing so effectively protects your deck after rainfall.
Deter Mold Growth
There are several methods of inhibiting mold growth on your cedar deck.
One method involves keeping the deck dry. This is easy if you’re building a new, covered deck. However, there are many other ways to keep a deck dry. Mop or sweep away standing water after rainfall and snow build-up after snowfall. Install eavestroughs and downspouts that direct water away from your deck—repair leaks immediately.
Be aware of items placed on the deck that can encourage water to collect. Keep potted plants in saucers to catch excess rainwater. Further, let sunlight shine on the deck after heavy rains. Pull back moveable deck coverings to let the sun dry it out.
Don’t clutter your deck with too much furniture as it prevents it from drying out. Instead, place items in storage over the winter months.
Finally, select plastic outdoor area rugs over bamboo. Bamboo tends to take in moisture, thereby fostering mold growth.
Of course, the ideal way to prevent mold from growing on your deck is to keep it clean and dry. Good luck with that on the rainy West Coast! Nevertheless, even a covered deck can have recurring mold growth. Following the steps above helps get rid of moisture build-up on cedar material, even in wet areas.
Protect your cedar deck investment and extend its life and your enjoyment of your beautiful outdoor living space.