Deck, just like our bodies, cars, and roofs, need regular checkup and maintenance. Depending on the traffic, weathering and surface conditions, the rule of thumb is that every 3-5 years, the deck should be inspected and recoated if necessary.
The beautiful California Sunshine does breakdown even the strongest and toughest coating after a while. The key to have a long-lasting deck is to re-apply the top protective coat approximately every 5 years. So the elements would never break down to the base coating – the main waterproofing membrane.
If the deck is left unattended after a long time, the Sun and water will eventually penetrate through the waterproofing membrane and get to the plywood substrate or even the joist and rafters. These damages are extremely expense to repair.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is especially true for deck maintenance.