healthy house institute

4 Free HHI Books:

Creating a Healthy Household, The Healthy House Answer Book, Healthy Home Building, The Healthy House 4th Edition
Your email will only be used as described in our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter



Proud Supporter of:



HHI-Pedia Entry



Deck maintenance used to be straightforward: all were made of wood, and they needed an annual checkup to prevent rotting, splitting or splintering. More choices are available today, such as pressure-treated lumber and composite materials. These newer materials help cut down on regular maintenance.


entry continues below ↓

We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.

Pressure-treated lumber resists rot, a consequence of moisture. This dimensional lumber has a greenish hue from the chemical treatment. Most manufacturers recommend against painting pressure-treated decks because paint doesn’t adhere well to treated wood. However, pressure-treated decks should be sealed every year.

Several manufacturers now offer composite decking, a product made of wood fibers and recycled materials such as plastics and rubber. Materials used in composite decks are more expensive than dimensional lumber, but have an important advantage in that the boards can’t rot, split or warp. That makes regular maintenance a snap — simply hose off loose soil. To remove spots, brush on some soapy water and rinse. Save yourself the drudgery of scrubbing deck spots on your hands and knees by getting a long-handled brush.

Seal wooden decks annually to preserve the wood. Suitable sealers are available at hardware stores, home centers and other retail outlets. Perform the following maintenance as needed before sealing the deck:

  • Sand any rough spots or splinters out of wooden decks. Wear protective goggles, ear protection and dust mask when using a power sander. A mask is particularly important when sanding pressure-treated decks, whose dust is laden with chemical residues.
  • Check for loose or warped boards. Most can be re-nailed or re-screwed. (Deck screws provide a bond that’s tighter and more permanent than nails.)

  • Look for rot — it’s always worse than it looks on the surface. Poke around any loose or spongy spots with a screwdriver. If it takes little effort to dig down an inch into the wood, replace the board.

  • Think safety. Check railings to be sure they’re still sturdy. Re-secure screws or nails and replace boards as necessary.

  • Clean away any moss, mildew or film, all consequences of shade and humidity. Brush on a commercial preparation (sold alongside deck sealers) made for this purpose, and rinse.

Sweep any sawdust off the deck, or, if washed, allow it to dry completely, and then apply the sealer. Follow all instructions and safety precautions found on product labeling.



HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

Deck:  Created on June 4th, 2009.  Last Modified on November 9th, 2009


References listed above credit sources The Healthy House Institute consulted for background or additional information.

All HHI-PediaTM content is © 2005-2018 The Healthy House InstituteTM.

Except for third-party Copyrighted© material, you may freely use, excerpt or cite this material provided the Healthy House Institute receives credit and the Web address is plainly listed with all uses, excerpts or citations.


We do not strictly control Google ad content. If you believe any Google ad is inappropriate, please email us directly here.



Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Education Partners



Popular Topics: Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers | Allergies & Asthma | Energy Efficiency & Energy Savings | Healthy Homes | Green Building
Green Cleaning | Green Homes | Green Living | Green Remodeling | Indoor Air Quality | Water Filters | Water Quality

© 2006-2018 The Healthy House Institute, LLC.


About The Healthy House Institute | Contact HHI | HHI News & Media | Linking Resources | Advertising Info | Privacy Policy | Legal Disclaimer


HHI Info