You can keep your wood or composite deck looking good longer by getting a jump on potential problems. Sweep your deck frequently. Don't let leaves, especially wet leaves, accumulate. Keep shrubs from growing within a couple of feet of your deck, especially on the shady side of your property. Use a five-in-one painter's tool to keep the gaps between the deck's floorboards free of accumulated debris. Clean food stains and bird droppings as soon as you notice them. If you have potted plants on your deck, elevate them to allow airflow underneath, or move them periodically.
There are other measures you can take, too. Like the hardwood floors in your home, your deck is vulnerable to scratches and gouges. Your dogs' nails and even high heeled shoes can scratch the wood if you aren't careful. Lift furnishings before moving them onto or across your deck, keep your pets' nails trimmed, and think of your deck as another section of flooring in your home.