Deck Maintenance: Getting Rid of the Unpleasant Odor Underneath Your Deck

Spicing up the aesthetics of your house does not always mean getting a new roofing system or renovating your kitchen floors. It could also be just an extension of your receiving area or your living room. Have you ever thought about building a deck to maximize your space? And, if you have one, have you encountered odor problems emanating from it? We’ll talk you through these in this post.

First, What Are Decks?

These are spaces primarily made of wood, a composite wood material or vinyl. Popular woods for decking include redwood, cedar and pressure-treated pine. As mentioned, It is often built to extend the space you have from inside to the outdoors and take advantage of views. It can be attached to a house or freestanding at different levels and may often need railings.

Wood, pressure-treated cedar and redwood are traditional choices when constructing a deck. Ipe and jarrah have also been popular in the market. Although expensive, these types are highly recommended for their proven longevity while guaranteeing to add elegance to your area.

As innovations arise, vinyl has also become more in demand for most decking projects. This is because its material is almost maintenance-free, which enables it to last for decades.

When Building a Deck

Like most home projects, such as siding installation, it is always necessary to do research and check on the materials and options available. Your deck would be better if it suits your area and meets your needs. There are various types of decks, and some are called an attached, detached, wraparound and multilevel deck. Thus, it is always ideal to select a certain kind of deck that would fit and complement your property.

Some Things to Consider:

  • Layout: Involvement in this project is also critical. Personal preference plays a big role when it comes to choosing the shape and style of your deck. Rest assured, you could always think out of the box when it comes to designing as long as it suits your home aesthetics.

  • Location: Just like deciding whether you’d want chimneys on your modern house, you will have to determine where you would exactly like to have the deck as an outdoor entertainment area. Most decks are placed near the house for better accessibility, but there is no harm in building it in the backyard where the pool is.

Dealing With the Bad Odor Underneath Your Deck

Taking good care of your deck may sound like quite a challenge, no matter its size, but with proper materials and regular maintenance, you’ll do just fine. However, if you have noticed unpleasant odors coming from your outdoor deck, that may be a tough case to resolve. Fortunately, you won’t really have to worry about it much as there are a few tools and household cleaning products you can use to easily get rid of it.

Identifying the Cause

Determining the source of the odor can be tricky, especially knowing that dealing with the odor depends on its cause. To have a clearer view, here are the common reasons you can take note of:

  • Animals may always be the culprit of this dilemma. Wild or stray animals like rats and raccoons may leave droppings behind when living or moving underneath your deck. Pets may urinate on the posts or under the deck. Moreover, dead animals will produce an odor that gets stronger as it decays.

  • Mold and mildew thrive in warm and shaded areas like the underside of a deck. This can immediately spread, producing odors that can be noticeable from above the deck.

  • Cigarette ashes or butts are known to create ashy and smoky smells. It also gets worse in humid weather.

  • Leftover food pieces can instantly create a very unpleasant odor as it spoils and decays. Moreover, rotting food, even when mixed with soil, will create an unpleasant smell.

Eliminating the Odor

As stated earlier, how you address the issue normally varies. Luckily, once you have distinguished what is causing the smell, getting rid of it will be much easier.

Before anything else, take note that, if the smell happens to be particularly strong, you are urged to use a nose plug or apply mentholated ointment to mask the smell as you work. You may also want to use N95 masks to avoid inhaling the pollen or mold. Remember wearing gloves is necessary when handling chemicals or animal droppings and remains.

  • For stains caused by animal droppings and dog urine, apply baking soda, or spray the surface with diluted vinegar and water. Wait about half an hour before washing. You can also apply a commercial odor neutralizing agent or eliminator. Experts note, however, that these can get expensive if your pet is the offender.

  • For cat urine, using baking soda, the vinegar solution or an odor eliminator will work. You also have other natural options, such as coffee grounds or cayenne pepper, or just cleaning with a power washer weekly.

  • Mold and mildew can be removed with a diluted bleach solution or with a commercially available cleaner. You are advised to sand it and apply oil-based wood sealer (if the deck is surfaced with wood) right after you clean the deck. This needs to be done every five years or so. As a tip, utilize a hand-held power sander for your convenience.

Prior to using these products, ask a professional if they’re safe to use, or, better yet, hire a professional deck cleaner. Moreover, given these various pointers, homeowners are reminded that routine cleaning is highly critical.  Preventative maintenance is always better than putting up with all the trouble of heavy cleaning or even having to replace portions of your deck. Plus, you get to save a huge amount of time and money if you avoid letting these happen.

Looking for a qualified and affordable contractor for your next project? Paddy’s has a proven record of accomplishment and is a reputable company located in Newark, DE. We ensure that all projects, including your chimneys, are done with the utmost professionalism using quality materials while keeping our customers informed throughout the entire process. Call us today at (302) 208-9510, or fill out our form here.

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