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Fall Maintenance for Your Cedar Deck

cedar deckIf your yard has a lot of deciduous trees, fall can be a rough season for your cedar deck. Falling leaves and other debris, combined with rain, can cause problems if not dealt with promptly, so it’s important to keep your deck swept clean as much as possible.

Here’s a look at how falling leaves can damage a cedar deck:

Rot. Any organic matter left on your deck will immediately begin to rot, and rain or other moisture accelerates the process. Fallen leaves and branches can spread rot to your wood deck boards, causing major problems down the road.

Mold and mildew. Even if your deck doesn’t begin to rot, mold and mildew can grow in the places where wet leaves are allowed to pile up. Any mildew that grows now will only make your spring deck maintenance that much harder.

Tannin stains. As leaves decompose, they leave tannin stains on the wood. These appear as dark, tea-colored stains. While they can be removed with a deck brightener, it’s much easier if you can prevent them from forming in the first place.

To keep your wood deck in top shape this fall, the best thing you can do is sweep regularly to keep it clear of leaves and other yard debris. Whenever possible, sweep leaves off the deck rather than through boards, as they can become lodged between the boards and cause problems.

Adequate air ventilation is one of the most important aspects of a wood deck, especially in the rainy season. Most and mildew more easily form when moisture gets trapped between boards and posts, but proper ventilation will reduce the amount of water that can get trapped.

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