You’ve purchased your brand new deck and now you plan to make the most of it this summer. Help make your investment stand the test of time with these simple tips to keep your deck looking great through every summer barbeque.
Perform an Inspection
Knowing any small problems before they turn into big ones is key with any deck. Each spring, build into your spring cleaning regimen a thorough inspection of your deck. Pay particular attention to the areas where your deck meets your house and where the stairs contact the ground. Be sure to give a firm wiggle to all of the railings, applying some weight against them to test for sturdiness and replace any protruding or rusted nails or hardware. Dealing with these problems as they arise will not only keep your deck looking great but also give you peace of mind that it is a safe space for family and friends to enjoy.
Arm Your Furniture
Wrought iron furniture stands up tough against the elements but can be equally tough on your deck. We can all imagine that in the lazy days of summer, our guests are far more likely to pull out a heavy deck chair, scraping up your lovely surface, than to politely lift it when getting up and down. Rather than cringe every time someone gets up to go to the cooler, affix furniture feet protectors to the bottom of all of your frequently moved patio furniture.
Keep It Clean
Probably the easiest way to ensure your deck always looks its best is to treat it like any other room inside your home with a regular cleaning schedule. Begin with a start-of-season power wash and then once every few days (more or less often depending on where you live) sweep the deck as you would your kitchen or other high-trafficked room. If you see bird droppings or food or drink stains, remove those immediately to prevent staining. Similarly, if you’ve decorated your deck with potted plants, keep them raised off the direct surface of the deck to prevent ring stains from forming around the base.
Seal It Up
If you have a pressure-treated wood deck, you’ll still need to apply a sealant to prevent it from absorbing staining liquids and protect it from sun damage. It’s important to remember that even if you’ve already stained your deck in the past, a stain should be reapplied every couple of years depending on your local weather. Consider whether you need to seal your deck after giving it your start-of-season power wash.
Prepare for Cold
The best way to enjoy a beautiful deck in the summer is to prepare it well for the winter months. Remove any furniture, planters, or grilling equipment off of your deck and store it away to prevent moisture pooling around those areas. As the weather begins to turn, check between deck boards for leaves that may reduce drainage and remove them.
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