There is no better time of year to take advantage of having a deck than in the summer. But your summer plans of barbecuing and sunbathing could get interrupted by poor deck maintenance.
Decks make an excellent addition to any home and backyard. They make it more enjoyable to be outside, and they’re a great social gathering spot in the warm months.
But over time, decks accumulate wear-and-tear, stains, and sometimes decay.
If your deck is in need of some work, it’s not too late to get it looking brand new. Here are 5 deck maintenance tips every homeowner needs to know this summer!
1. Keep Your Deck Clean
Before you begin, it’s important to get your deck as clean as possible.
As soon as the warm weather breaks, give your deck a good sweep. You can also check for debris that’s fallen through the boards with a putty knife.
Next, wash your deck. You want to remove any dirt or mold that’s accumulated over time.
A pressure washer can help remove dirt build-up on the grimiest of decks. It can also help you clean in between the boards.
Chemical strippers can help to remove tough stains. But if you’ve never worked with them, remodeling experts can help.
Most decks require basic soap and water. But if depending on the material of your boards, you may want to use a special cleaner. You can also try using a stiff-bristle brush.
Before you do any other maintenance on the deck, make sure it has a full night to dry. Try to avoid using the deck until it is thoroughly dry after cleaning.
2. Seal Your Deck
Sealing can preserve the look of your deck and protect it against water and sun damage.
Decks need to be completely dried and sanded before sealing. This is a 2-day project, so make sure your weather forecast is not predicting rain.
Choose between a solid or semi-transparent stain. A semi-transparent finish is optimal, but solid stains can emphasize details like railings.
Using a roller, seal your deck with two thin coats of stain, making sure it doesn’t puddle. If you opt for a spray stain, make sure to properly cover any nearby plants or furniture.
3. Replace Loose or Popped Nails
There’s nothing worse than stepping on a nail that has popped or come loose.
Loose nails can be pried out with a hammer and replaced with a brand new nail using a screw.
Hammering a nail back into a hole is fine, but it’s only a temporary fix. Eventually, you’ll have to replace it again. That’s because the hole has become larger.
Use nails that are the same size as the nails in your deck. Just hammer in the replacement nail close to the hole.
Then, insert a deck screw so that its head covers the top of the nail. This will prevent the nail from popping out in the future. You can smooth over the rest of the hole with putty to cement the nail and deck screw further in place.
4. Remove Split or Rotting Wood
A split board on your deck not only looks bad but can increase the chances of catching splinters. This is also a good time to check for wood rot.
To remove a split board or a board that’s rotted, first, you want to mark the damaged area. Doing so will help you size the replacement board. You can also cut to size.
Wood rot tends to grow in areas that aren’t visible to the eye. So, make sure to check under your deck and between the boards.
Then, using a jigsaw power tool, remove the split board’s nails or screws. Once this is done, you can install the replacement board. Make sure the nails or screws are thoroughly in place before sanding.
5. Do Routine Deck Maintenance
Doing work on your deck can be tedious. Luckily, there are simple tasks you can do to ensure your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
To prevent stains, it’s important to regularly sweep your deck. Accumulated dirt and debris will stain your deck. Sitting water is also not good for the boards.
Chemicals used for lawn care or gardening can ruin your deck’s appearance. Be careful with any chemicals you use near your deck.
Above all, regular inspection is fundamental to deck maintenance.
Keep Your Deck Looking Fresh This Summer
Spending time on your deck is one of the best parts of summer. But regular wear-and-tear, as well as weather, can wreck havoc on any deck.
By following these 5 tips, you can preserve the look and feel of your deck for years to come. To learn more about deck maintenance, or deck remodeling ideas, contact Fitzpatrick Painting today!