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Deck Maintenance Tips from HGTV

Deck Maintenance Tips from HGTV – The folks at Holmes: The Magazine to Make it Right were kind enough to send OCM some deck maintenance tips.

Mike Holmes, star of “Holmes on Holmes” and “Holmes Inspection” as seen on HGTV and the recently launched magazine Holmes: The Magazine to Make it Right, has compiled these tips on how to prep your deck before the summer sun hits.


  • Green or Black Spots: Look above and below boards. The spots indicate mildew and mold. If you find spots, clean and treat the surface ASAP, but do not use a pressure cleaner; it can damage the deck.
  • Gray Boards: If the boards are losing color, it’s a sign of sun damage. To avoid cracking and splitting, put on a new coat of protective sealant.
  • No Water Beading: If rain soaks directly into the boards instead of beading up, it’s time to apply a water-and mildew-repellant stain.


  • Decay: If you have any boards that seem soft and spongy (test by sticking with a screwdriver) the wood is rotting. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may only need to have a section replaced.
  • Detached Ledger Board: This beam, where the deck meets you house, is the most common source of failure. Check to see if there’s a wide gap between it and your home, and whether any bolts have loosened or nails have popped out.
  • Inadequate Railings: Most communities now require at least a 3-foot-high railing (and many areas encourage going up to 4-foot height) with posts no wider than 4 inches apart.

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