I love the deck at our house. Itís the perfect place for a meal, a book or just chilliní. To keep a deck in shape, you have to spend a little time with it, though. Every year, you should check for damaged boards and be prepared to replace some. The structural supports also need to be checked for signs of insect or animal damage. For the final touch, you need to clean your deck. This includes picking up loose bolts and nails, pressure washing and re-sealing or re-staining. This may sound like a lot, but it is really worth it to keep your deck in prime condition. For more details on deck maintenance, check out "Deck Maintenance: Sealing and Staining."