As the weather starts to get warmer, you might be eager to get outdoors and start utilizing your deck! Whether you’re looking forward to spending time outside curled up with a good book while a gentle breeze blows or you have an itch for a BBQ with friends and family, your deck is the perfect place to retreat to.
However, if your deck isn’t properly maintained, the lifespan of your deck will be significantly reduced. Decks are exposed to all sorts of elements, leaving them susceptible to problems such as rot. Springtime is the perfect time to take care of necessary routine maintenance that will have your deck looking great for years to come.
Look for signs of rot
The first thing you’ll want to do is walk around your deck and check for rot on boards, joists, posts, and beams. Rot will only get worse only time, so if you find areas of your deck that are in poor condition,start making repairs. While you may be able to make basic repairs yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for larger repairs, such as having to reframe a portion of the deck.
Check for loose railings
As you’re walking around, make sure to take the time to shake any railings that are around the deck. Over time, posts will become loose or damaged. This will result in railings becoming loose and unstable, which could result in an injury. If you find a problematic railing, you will need to tighten existing screws or install new screws. It’s better to find and take care of loose railings before you start having friends or family over to enjoy your deck.
Trim nearby bushes
If you have bushes, flowers, or trees near your deck, make sure that the plants aren’t rubbing up against wooden parts of your deck. This can increase the chances of rot, mold, and mildew forming on your deck. It is easier to trim your plants back in the spring before they are in full bloom. Leave at least 12 inches of space between the plants and your deck. You may need to periodically trim them during the year, as well.
Get rid of debris
It is natural for debris, such as twigs or digs, to become stuck in gaps between deck boards. However, leaving the debris there long term could result in your deck deteriorating more quickly. Not to mention, it might not look very nice. To get rid of stuck debris, you will need to use something such as a putty knife to scrape along the inside of the gaps. It will take some time and work but your deck will look much better!
Spring is also the perfect time to get rid of any dirt, grease, mildew, or mold that might be lingering on your deck. If you’re planning on using a pressure washer, do your research to make sure the material of your deck can be safely washed – check out a site such as Home Arise to start your research. If you don’t want to use a pressure washer, most decks can be cleaned with water, a soft brush, and some scrubbing.
Sealing wooden decks helps create a protective layer that can help lock out moisture. Most wooden decks need to be sealed annually. The spring is the perfect time to do this before you start utilizing your deck regularly because the sealer will need time to dry. To seal a deck, you will need to use a brush and cover deck boards with thin coats of sealant. Avoid putting the sealer on too thick or letting the sealer pool in puddles.
Sweep as needed
Finally, don’t forget to sweep your deck as needed! This is ongoing maintenance that you’ll need to do throughout the year. Regular sweeping helps to get rid of any loose debris that is on your deck. While your deck might only need a thorough cleaning once a year, sweeping it once or twice a week will help keep it looking nice during the rest of the year. Sweeping leaves and other debris also helps prevent mold from forming under the debris.
Before the weather gets too hot, start your spring maintenance on your deck! While there are some types of maintenance, such as sweeping off dirt and leaves, that will need to be done throughout the year, there are other types of maintenance, such as washing and sealing, that will only need to be done once a year.