Summer Deck Maintenance! Now that summer’s here, I’m sure everyone’s out there getting their lawns and backyards in order.
This is the first summer in three years that we’ll be enjoying without any restrictions. Summer also means summer backyard parties, barbeques, and evening cocktail parties.
In all these, your deck’s going to be used the most. But you’re worried your deck doesn’t look as good?
Here are my top 7 tips for cleaning, maintaining, and preserving your deck in Canada:
1. Start by inspecting all parts of the deck
Regular maintenance is important, even during winter, because mould and mildew can damage your wood deck.
Start by inspecting different areas including the stairs, joists, hangers, posts and beams. Also inspect the area, up to six inches from above the ground as it’s most susceptible to water damage.
2. Always wash the deck on sunny days
Deck cleaning can take you an entire day. It has so many ridges, so you’re going to need a hard-bristled brush to clean it. Wash only on sunny days, so that the water evaporates faster and doesn’t swell the wood.
When cleaning the wood railings, work your way from the bottom to up.
3. Replace damaged wood
If you find rotten or split wood panels on the deck, replace them immediately. Rot spreads very quickly and split wood can injure your guests and you. Also, take out any defective or damaged nails since they are a major safety hazard as well.
4. Trim bushes and plants around the deck regularly
Keep bushes and plants at least 12 inches away from the border of your deck. That will prevent rot, mould, pests, and water damage. Look up which plant and bush varieties work best around decks.
Avoid planting fruit trees nearby because fruits can drop on the deck and invite insects and mould.
5. Stain, seal or paint your deck
Follow this general rule of thumb for staining, sealing, or painting your deck. Stain every 3-4 years or when you notice visible discolouration from sun damage. Seal to preserve the wood’s grain and natural beauty every 1-2 years.
Paint whenever you need there’s need. It usually provides better UV protection than a sealant or stain, however, it doesn’t look aesthetic.
6. Sand the deck
Use an orbital sander to remove rough areas on your deck. If you’re sealing the deck, always sand first. You’ll need a sanding sponge or 60/80 grit paper for the handles and railings.
Once you’re done sanding, vacuum the floors thoroughly. Always use rubber gloves and protective eyewear. Keep the kids away and invite a couple friends to help you out, so you can enjoy a couple drinks and bond at the same time.
7. Move your furniture around frequently
Sun damage during summer can discolour the exposed parts of the deck. Move the furniture around every few days, so there aren’t patches of different-coloured wood. It’ll look much better being discoloured across the surface than just a few spots.