In winter, it feels counterproductive to clean up and repair your deck when the cold, the rain and the wind might undo all your hard work within a matter of weeks. That’s why spring is the perfect season for attending to winter’s damage and restoring your deck to its former charm. Not to mention, the increasingly warm days and nights make spring the perfect time to get the most use out of your deck, by hosting entertaining friends and family outdoors. We’ve compiled some deck maintenance tips for spring so you can enjoy the full potential of your deck throughout the sunny seasons.
1. Clear up
Sweep the deck clear of leaves, twigs and debris so that it’s easier to properly inspect the damage winter has inflicted. A stiff bristled broom will do the quickest and most thorough job of ridding your deck of these unwanted bits of ‘décor’.
Now that the deck is clear, you will be able to examine the boards for splintering, protruding nails or debris stuck between the deck boards. Use a putty knife to remove twigs and leaves from these difficult-to-reach spots. Hammer in any nails that have come loose to avoid any barefoot injuries and finally, sand the deck in areas that have begun to splinter. Your deck will already be looking neater after this quick and easy maintenance.
2. Clean up
Now that your deck is structurally sound and twigs and leaves have been cleared, it’s time to give it a thorough clean with a power washer or deck cleaner.
Using a power washer is the most efficient way to achieve a smooth and clean appearance for your deck. However, if the power washer is not used correctly, this can lead to gouges, indentations and permanent damage. If you are trained in the appropriate way to use a power washer and trust yourself to avoid doing more harm than good to your deck, then this tool will help rid your deck of muck and grime with ease. Just be sure to use the power washer on a low pressure setting.
An alternative option is to scrub your deck with a deck cleaner, again using a stiff bristled broom for the best effect. Be sure to follow the ratio instructions when diluting the deck cleaner with water. As the deck cleaner solution is likely to be toxic, don’t forget to wear safety glasses, gloves and a mask.
If you’re after more guidance on how best to clean your deck, we’ve given more detailed advice here.
If it’s been a few years or longer since your deck received a fresh stain, it’s worth going this extra mile to make your deck look as good as new. Use a bristle brush to apply the stain methodically and evenly across the deck boards. A good deck stain should be waterproof and offer UV protection from the sun. This way, not only will your deck be restored to the colour it once had or a new one of your choosing, but its shiny new appearance will be likely to last even in the harsh outdoor elements.
While a stain can help your deck endure severe weather conditions, a sealant does an even better job of protecting the wood. By applying a sealant with a brush or roller, you will prevent water from penetrating the wood, which could otherwise lead to mould and rot developing.
Check the weather ahead of staining or sealing your deck. You want to ensure you have at least a 2-day period of clear skies, which will allow your deck enough time to dry.
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is the best cure’ and deck maintenance is no different. You can reduce the upkeep of your deck by taking a few simple yet important preventative measures.
Trim nearby bushes and trees so they are at least 12 inches clear of your deck. This will prevent leaves from landing or dripping rain on your deck. Clear your deck of leaves and other debris regularly, being especially careful not to let piles form in corners. When wet leaves are left for too long in one spot, it can discolour or soften the wood. Finally, to prevent the discolouration of your deck, occasionally move pots, chairs and tables around. This way, the same spots will not be deprived of sun for extended periods of time.
If you find evidence of rotting wood, you will need to replace deck boards. You might also need to replace the deck supports. After all, you want to ensure that your deck is safe to use. Everlast Services’ decking experts can help restore your rotting deck to its safer and more presentable former self. Get in touch for a free quote to replace all or part of your deck.