If your home has a wood deck, you know that maintaining its beauty is a part of the ownership experience. There are many steps to maintaining the condition and appearance of your deck, and the great majority of those steps need to be enacted before the summer heat is in full swing.
We offer these steps to preparing your wood deck for the summer.
Start With A Sweep
After winter, you first need to give your deck a good, deep spring cleaning! Your spring deck cleaning starts by sweeping leaves and dirt from the surface. Don’t forget places underneath furniture where insects (or mice!) have spent the winter hiding from the elements.
Next, wash embedded dirt with a power washer is essential. If you don’t have a power washer, many hardware stores offer power tools for rent, which is a thrifty way to go if you don’t want to invest hundreds in a machine of your own.
Replace Fasteners And Remove Splinters Dirt
This can keep water on the wood surface for extended periods of time, causing rot or mildew damage. Washing it away will not only help prevent this damage but will also reveal nails, screws, or splinters that have made their way up over winter. Now that they’re clearly visible, reset those fasteners and remove splinters that can cause injury to flip-flop-laden (or bare) summertime feet.
TIP: Wash the House While You’re At It!
Since you’ve got a pressure washer handy, consider power washing your home’s exterior, too. After all, a pristine deck and dirty siding don’t go well together!
Sometimes deck boards are beyond repair due to poor maintenance or simply old age. When that happens, it’s time to replace the whole board instead of trying to wash away the damage. Instead, remove the damaged board and replace it with a new one. Remember: Measure twice, cut once! And it’s best to use circular saws for wood cutting because they’re portable and easier to handle for single wood boards.
Revamp That Colour!
After you’ve washed your deck, renew its color with a fresh coat of stain or another sealant. There are many colors and opacities to consider at this stage, which makes this part so fun! You can go au natural and use a clear sealant, or choose one of the hundreds of colors to give your deck more personality.
Don’t Forget the Rails!
The rails are a part of your deck as well, so don’t forget to clean and stain them too. One fun idea is to paint your rails — and the posts! — different colors than the deck floor. This offers colorful contrasts to what might otherwise be a plain, straight (and boring) wood railing.
Now that your deck is officially prepped for summer, here are 10 Awesome Ideas to make your deck really summer-ready!
- Reupholster cushions to update the look.
- Refresh with outdoor lighting. While you can get expensive street-style lamps, you can also get whimsical by stringing white twinkle lights along deck rails or installing hanging paper lanterns overhead. Let your imagination run wild!
- Install an outdoor projector & screen for outdoor movie binges!
- Slides! If you have a second-story deck, attach a slide that drops into a sandbox for the kids to play on.
- Add a rustic pallet item.
- Hanging flower baskets or rail planters bring life to any deck.
- For sun-drenched decks, consider installing an awning to help block the heat…
- …and then put in a deck cooler to keep the visitors hydrated!
- Put in a fire pit.
- Add a water feature.
While the cleaning part isn’t so fun, preparing your wood deck for summer is more than just tidying things up. After cleaning the wood, ways to customize your deck and prepare for an amazing outdoor summer are nearly endless, from stain colors to accessories you can add.