Your deck is exposed to the elements for all seasons year-round. The potentially vast amount of sun, rain, snow, and ice can cause damage. Seasonal deck maintenance is crucial to having a safe, great-looking deck for year-round enjoyment. Spending a few hours each season practicing proper maintenance will keep your deck sealed, free of rot, and structurally sound.
Here are things to look for every season to ensure your deck lasts for years to come!
If you live in a cold climate, you will want to store your outdoor furniture in a secure, covered place, such as in the garage or inside an outdoor shed. If you have soft accessories like pillows or rugs, you should store them inside the home, so pests and rodents don’t get to them while stored in the garage or shed. This way, once spring rolls back around, you’ll be able to break out your furniture with it ready for use.
An unwashed deck is an invitation to mold and mildew, which can cause rot. During the spring season, be sure to:
- Remove debris from between deck boards using a putty knife.
- Protect all shrubs and plantings by wetting and covering them with plastic sheeting.
- Thoroughly sweep the deck.
- Clean the deck on a cloudy day so the sun won’t evaporate the cleaner.
- Choose a proper cleanser depending on your deck and follow the directions carefully. A wood deck can use a standard deck cleaner, while a composite deck needs a specially formulated cleanser for composite material.
- Let the deck dry and wait two days before sealing. Remember that deck sealants aren’t required or recommended for composite decks, although some composite decking can be stained to restore its color.
When the weather is warm and dry, it’s a good time to give your deck and patio a close inspection. Be sure to:
- Look for signs of rot. You probably have rot if you can push a screwdriver a quarter-inch or more into a suspect area.
- Inspect the ledger. Using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay special attention to the ledger — the piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house. Check remaining joists, posts, railings, and beams. Check all the hardware underneath, especially joist hangers, and replace anything seriously rusted. Probe for signs of rot on the posts and joists.
- Check grout. Look at the grout in between stonework on your patio. If any has come loose or disappeared altogether, repair it.
Fall is also a good time to clean your deck because the temperatures are mild compared to the summer heat. To prepare for the winter months, be sure to:
- Trim nearby bushes and trees. They need to be at least 12 inches from the area to slow mold, moss, and rot.
- Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloring the decking.
- Keep nearby gutters and downspouts in good repair.
- Don’t let leaves and other debris pile up.
At VistaPro Landscape and Design, we offer custom patio and deck building services so you can take your outdoor space to the next level. A well-designed deck can increase the amount of time you spend outside in the warmer months and is great for family gatherings, dining, or relaxation. A custom build deck can also add value to your home when it comes time to sell!
Call us today at (301)805-0119 to learn how you can transform your outdoor living space.