We hope you’ve enjoyed your deck this summer. As the weather gets cooler, it’s tempting to leave the chores for later – maybe even next year.
Don’t! We recommend doing maintenance on your deck now so you don’t face nasty challenges come spring.
Deck Maintenance in Early Fall
Some homeowners think they’re off the hook once cool weather starts. They begin counting the number of times they’ll have to mow the lawn before snow falls, or they happily cover their patio furniture and forget about it until spring. If you own a deck, however, you have to maintain it properly to make sure you will get years of use from it.
So, let’s talk about what you can do – right now – to care for your premier party patio!
- Trim bushes and trees.
This may not seem like a necessary chore, but trimming nearby bushes can help slow the growth of mold, moss, or rot on your deck. Trim them back now so you don’t have mold issues in the spring.
- Rake leaves and don’t let debris pile up.
This chore is important for the same reason. You don’t want to peel rotted leaves off your deck when the weather warms up.
- Don’t leave planters or patio furniture in the same place.
Moving them around occasionally helps you avoid discoloration.
- Shop for discount patio furniture!
If you’re less than thrilled with the look of your patio, fall is the ideal time to buy. Several retailers will want to clear out their patio furniture in the fall and may offer deep discounts.
- If the weather’s nice, go ahead and wash, seal, and stain your deck for next summer.
Save yourself a springtime chore! As long as the weather is mild, fall can be the perfect time to get this chore out of the way so your springtime entertaining can begin early. After all, deck stains are not designed for temperatures below 50 or above 90, and they need to dry out for a couple of days after application. For both of these reasons, the dry, mild weather of fall might just be ideal. These tips will come in handy if you decide these cooler days offer a great opportunity to spruce up that deck.
When the Snow Melts, Take Care of Spring Chores
Once the snow melts and the warm weather returns, it’s important to check your deck for mold and mildew and give it a good wash. Remove debris and sweep the entire deck before washing it with an appropriate cleanser.
When you clean, you can use a garden sprayer, brush or paint roller. But don’t let liquid pool on your deck and don’t let the deck dry until you’ve scrubbed it completely. We recommend paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleanser and rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Don’t forget to clean the railings! If you plan to seal your deck as well, wait two days before doing so.
Our experts can help you stain your deck, as well! Spring is the best time to get your deck ready for entertaining.
More Tips and Tricks for Late Spring and Summer
You’re not off the hook over the summer! Here’s what you can do to maintain that deck and keep entertaining all season long …
When the weather is warm, that’s the best time to inspect your deck’s structure, look for signs of rot, and check how sturdy those joints are. Here are a few pro tips to get you started …
- When you look for rot, check the stairs and each post. It helps to use a screwdriver to test areas you suspect may be rotted out. Some of these areas can simply be removed with a chisel or patched with a wood preservative. For extensive damage, however, you’ll need to contact a carpenter or home repair professional.
- Use a flashlight to check underneath your deck. Be sure to check what carpenters call the ledger — a frame attaching the deck to your house. If the ledger looks weak, you’ll want to have it repaired right away so there’s no risk of collapse. Be sure to check that any major beams are attached with lag screws, not nails, and that none of these screws are rusted out.
- Don’t neglect the railing. Check to see that posts are not loose. Finally, check for cracks or rotting boards on the deck itself.
If you’d like to hire a professional to get your deck spruced up while the weather is mild, let us know! Our professionals will be happy to keep your deck looking great year round.