For many, summer represents countless opportunities to gather friends and family for a season filled with barbeques and fun. Having a reputation for truly memorable cookouts is often a point of pride for hosts, so showing off a well-maintained and attractive deck becomes vital for grill masters. However, getting things primed for the sunny season requires a few necessary steps, in addition to regular cleaning and deck maintenance.
Clearing all potted plants and furniture off of the deck is a good first step to take stock of the situation. Carefully inspect the deck for dirt, mildew, and pollen buildup that may have accumulated from trapped moisture during winter. Sweep debris and loose dirt that may be left from the wet season, and be cautious of potential safety hazards, such as nails sticking up.
Having a presentable deck requires a certain amount of elbow grease. The next step requires detailed cleaning. It’s important to note that the morning and early evenings are the best time to work on the deck, considering that prolonged sun exposure can cause some cleaners to dry out too early or potentially burn into the deck. For cleaning, consider using a small amount of product and hot water to mop each area followed by a gentle rinse with a garden hose. Additionally, clean between the planks and boards of any horizontal surfaces as needed, allowing airflow and draining to prevent standing water. As a result, this limits the amount of moisture that can collect on surface of the plank, helping to prolong the life of the deck.
Some people may find that their deck requires staining or sealing (usually recommended every 2-3 years as needed) to look its best and to prevent oxidation, fading, splitting and rot. This periodic retreatment will ultimately prevent discoloration and degradation and add years to the woods lifespan. It’s also crucial to consider factors that may prolong the life of staining. For instance, studies indicate that moisture content in the wood higher than 15% is the number one cause of failure of any stain or sealer. When in doubt, it’s recommended to bring in a professional in order to measure the moisture content to avoid wasting time and resources.
Once the deck is in prime condition, there are easy ways to keep your deck looking beautiful, and prolong the life and vitality of the wood. I’ve pressure washed, stained and cleaned countless decks over the years, and noticed some reoccurring issues. Be sure to periodically move potted plants to prevent mold and mildew. When doing so avoid sliding heavy pots, furniture, grills or any other items that may cause scratching or splintering of the wood.
Overall, simply sweeping your deck throughout the year can add years to its life. Small acts of conscientious maintenance can keep a deck looking lively, and serve as a visual compliment to great summer gatherings and good memories.
Matthews Painting offers comprehensive deck maintenance solutions to help in any stage of seasonal preparation in addition to a free deck inspection. If you want a long-lasting beautiful deck that you are proud to show off, contact Matthews Painting for a free quote or some friendly advice on how to do it yourself.