WINCHESTER, Va., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As warm weather approaches, the
thoughts of the nearly 40 million Americans who own decks turn to enjoyable
days and evenings spent entertaining family and friends or just relaxing on
their outdoor havens. However -- no matter what kind of deck you own --
it's important to examine its condition and conduct any necessary upkeep
before you break out the patio furniture and grill.
"Just like the other outdoor surfaces of your home, a deck needs to be
cleaned and protected prior to summer use -- especially after the beating
it can take from rough weather during the winter months," said Scott Fedor,
senior product manager of decking at Trex, the country's largest
manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, railing and fencing products.
"There are certain maintenance issues that should be addressed on a
bi-annual basis in order to keep your deck looking beautiful and
Fedor offers the following solutions for tackling the top five most
common deck dilemmas:
Deck Dilemma #1: Loose nails that are exposed above the deck's surface
create hazards, especially for children and pets. In fact, nearly 10
percent of Americans believe that their decks are unsafe because of exposed
Solution: If you own a wood deck, inspect the boards to find any
protruding nail heads. Hammer them down, or replace them with galvanized
screws that are approximately 1/2-inch longer than the original nails. For
a smooth deck surface that is completely free of any type of nails or
fasteners, consider a wood-alternative material like Trex Brasilia(R) with
its proprietary Hideaway(TM) Hidden Fastening System for the ultimate in
worry-free outdoor relaxation.
Deck Dilemma #2: Scuffs and abrasions from furniture or foot traffic
can mar the beauty of a deck's surface. Consequently, it's no wonder that
half of all Americans are not satisfied with the appearance of their decks.
Solution: To keep wood decks looking pristine, it's important to wash,
stain and seal them in advance of the arrival of warm weather -- as the
process can take several days and may require the use of heavy equipment
like a power washer. With a wood-alternative deck, scuffs and abrasions
should naturally fade or disappear during the weathering process.
Deck Dilemma #3: BBQ sauce is delicious, but not when it's coating your
deck. In fact, oil and grease stains can be downright unappetizing --
especially if they're set-in from last summer.
Solution: Whether you have a wood or a wood-alternative deck, try
scrubbing stains with a household de-greasing agent (ideally as soon as it
occurs). For set in stains, try an automotive degreaser or a carburetor
cleaner and rinse immediately with hot water.
Deck Dilemma #4: Mold and mildew are enemies of any exterior surface --
especially shady decks exposed to pollen or other organic debris and
moisture. Problem areas typically are where water stands for periods of
time or where puddles form under potted plants.
Solution: Sweeping away pools of water and periodically cleaning the
deck surface creates a first line of defense against mold and mildew
(http://www.trex.com). These actions prevent the creation of an environment
that nurtures the growth of fungus. Use conventional deck washes or
cleaners that contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and detergent. In
addition, wood decks should be sealed every other year to protect against
other types of moisture damage, such as rotting planks -- a problem that 44
percent of Americans feel makes their decks unsafe for kids and pets.
Deck Dilemma #5: Summer fun should be ouch-free, but that's not
possible if your deck is plagued with splintering boards -- which could
leave barefoot outdoor revelers with painful splinters of their own.
Solution: The amount of time and effort required to fix splintering
boards on a wood deck depends on the extent of the damage. Lightly
splintered boards may be salvaged through sanding, while severely
splintered planks will continue to deteriorate and most likely will need to
be replaced. For a splinter-free deck, choose a highly durable wood
alternative material that offers the natural beauty of wood, but leaves
behind all the rotting and splintering.
"While wood-alternative decks require significantly less maintenance
than decks made of other materials, it's still important to properly and
regularly clean the surface in order to ensure a 'like new' appearance for
longer," said Fedor. "With summer right around the corner, the most
important rule of thumb is not to procrastinate and to tackle any problem
areas right away."
For more information on how to clean and care for a wood-alternative
deck, visit http://www.trex.com.
About Trex Company
Trex Company is the nation's largest manufacturer of wood-alternative
decking, railing and fencing, with more than 15 years of product
experience. Products are marketed under the brand name Trex(R). Made from a
unique formulation of reclaimed wood and plastic, combined through a
proprietary process, Trex decking, railing and fencing offer significant
design flexibility with fewer ongoing maintenance requirements than wood.
For more information, visit the Company's Web site, http://www.trex.com.
Trex(R), Trex Brasilia(R) and the Trex Hideaway(TM) Hidden Fastening System
are trademarks of Trex Company, Inc., Winchester, Va.
* All statistics are results found in the Trex 2007 "All Hands on Deck
Survey." Results are based on responses of 1,000 adults in the U.S. who
participated in a national phone survey December 2007. Results are
accurate to +/- 5 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level and
can be generalized to the entire adult population in the U.S. within
those statistical parameters.
SOURCE Trex Company