A new and properly maintained deck is truly a jewel, isn’t it? On the other hand, the same deck that’s not properly maintained can be an eyesore and even a value-drain to the property. This is why we’ve always been so adamant about keeping that deck up. After it’s built, we clean the deck with a mild deck brightener, then followed with a good preservative.
I’ve noticed that many deck companies out there are not maintaining their decks and screened porches. When looking at their finished product, there are usually 2 things that I spot. First, if the deck gets a lot of sun and has not had a color stain/preservative applied, the deck will have severe surface checking, cracking, and peeling. This is due to the wood drying out and not having any UV protection from the extreme sun. Second, if the deck is in a shaded area, the deck will have some checking along with a good deal of mildew. This is due to the deck staying damp.
Applying a preservative that prevents fungus growth, mildew, mold, rot and decay will prevent these issues. A color stain/preservative with UV absorbers and UV blocking pigments should be applied for decks that stand in extreme sunlight. I have used many of these preservatives over the years and I’ve learned that there is no perfect product for all. Some products hold up longer than others, while others will not come clean when it’s time to reapply. And some products will build up layers resulting in the deck getting darker each time applied.
As a general rule, I recommend using an oil-based product that will apply easily, cleans up easily, and does not build up layers. But it really depends on your situation as to which I’d recommend. One thing I’d recommend in any situation is for you to properly maintain it using something.