Summer season is coming up and with the sun and warmer weather comes lots of opportunities of enjoying the sizzles of the BBQ and passing mild evenings with friends and family. Before you start inviting everyone and organizing parties, you need to make sure that your deck is in good condition and ready for the summer. Here are some tips that will help you in making your deck ready for summer months.
Before you make any deck repair projects, take some time to wash it. Use a pressure washer to blast away dirt build-up and easily clean between the boards. You might need to scrub the deck down with a cleaner if it’s a bit older or hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Let the deck dry out thoroughly overnight before starting any other maintenance.By the end of winter, there are chances that wood of your deck will become tarnished and it will likely have lost some of its shine and beauty. Clean your deck to bring back its beautiful look. For cleaning your deck, first remove your deck furniture and clear away dirt, debris and fallen leaves that have accumulated over your deck during the winter. Then apply deck cleaner and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. At last wash off the cleaner with the help of a power washer.
It is necessary to give your deck a thorough inspection to make sure that no structural problems evolved during the winter season and that no major construction work is needed. Check for missing and popped nails and if there are any, and replace them with deck screws. Make sure that the ledger is firmly attached with lag screws. Ledger joints the deck with the house. Check that posts are not damaged by giving them a shake. Make sure that the flashing (a metal cap that covers the top of the ledger and prevents moisture from getting behind the siding) is free from rust and holes. Then look over your deck for any nails that have become loose from the boards. If you come across any loose nails, pry them out with a cat’s paw or hammer, then replace the nail with a screw that is longer than the original nail.
If you find split wood on your deck, start by marking the damaged board by the edge of the first joist beyond the split. Don’t mark directly over the joist, as you could damage your saw when you start working. Remove any nails or screws, and cut away the damaged wood with a jigsaw. Use deck screws to attach a new support block made with pressure-treated wood. Then put the new board in place and attach it to the joist and support block with deck screws. The replacement board may appear larger than the other boards, but the new board will eventually shrink to fit after a few days as it loses moisture.
Sealant can preserve your deck and protect it from damage caused by bugs, moisture and sunlight. Stain the deck before applying the sealant if you would like to change the color. Stains come in either solid or semi-transparent finishes. If your deck is new then a clear or transparent stain will work best for your deck. If your deck is old then go with semi-transparent stain. Semi-transparent finishes are best for the deck in general, but solid finishes look great for highlighting railings and banisters. If you are using any spray equipment for the stain or sealant, be sure to cover up any plants growing near the deck with a cloth tarp as the chemicals in stains and sealants can be harmful to them. Wear protective eyewear and gloves while applying stain and sealant. Brush away any puddles of sealant to avoid shiny spots on the deck.
One of the most popular ways to decorate your deck is to give it the look of an indoor room. Add furniture like couches and coffee tables to your deck. Flowers are a great way to customize your deck. Finally the last step is to invite your friends, get your meats, and enjoy the best BBQ parties that the summer has to offer.