In the summer, you will probably want to get outside and enjoy the weather on your deck. To keep it in perfect shape, you need to prepare it before the season is upon you. Here are a few tips if you want your wooden deck to last long.
Importance of Cleaning and Preparing Your Wood Deck for Summer
Prevents mould and mildew growth
You shouldn’t let mould and mildew build-up on your deck since they can be harmful and pose health risks to you, your family and your guests. Cleaning and preparing your deck allows mould and mildew to be removed, preventing serious problems like rot.
Adds visual appeal to your home
Decks are usually found in backyards, but they are still a great addition to any home’s exterior. As the deck gets dirty over time, its appearance becomes dull and drab. By cleaning it at least annually, the wood will regain its original colour. Regularly cleaning your deck will help preserve its appearance and protect it.
Prolong the life of your wood deck boards
With regular cleaning and prepping, your deck will be more durable, allowing you to enjoy it for long before it requires repairs or replacement.
How to Clean a Wood Deck: Your Guide for Summer
Make the most of the summer by sprucing up your outdoor space. Ensure your deck is ready for summer entertaining by using the following tips.
Inspect the deck
Outdoor surfaces can suffer damage from cold weather. You should examine your wooden garden decking for any wear or damage that has occurred over the winter. Make sure the wood isn’t warped, twisted or rotten.
Proceed with cleaning
Prepare your deck for summer by giving it a thorough clean. Sweep leaves, cobwebs and dirt away from the deck. Remember to check underneath furniture for bugs or mice that may have hidden there over the winter.
Use a specially formulated cleaner on your deck; be sure to choose a quality product. An effective deck cleaner provides a solid surface on which paint can adhere, resulting in a more durable finish. If you skip the cleaning step, you might end up with a poor finish, or the paint might flake or peel.
Apply the cleaning solution evenly to the wood deck boards with a push broom or mop. Cover your entire deck with the solution, then use your push broom to sweep away the excess liquid. Make sure stained areas are scrubbed gently. For best results, leave the cleaning mixture on for the duration specified in the instructions. Then, you can pressure wash it instead of using a mop if you want to clean your deck more efficiently. Avoid using too much pressure, so you don’t damage the wood. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one instead, which is a more economical alternative.
After your deck has dried, you can assess the remaining work. It will be apparent whether your deck needs staining or painting and if it still has a lot of dirt embedded in it.
Do some repairs
After your deck has been thoroughly cleaned, you will be able to determine whether it needs any repairs. Look for rough surfaces, protruding nails and slats or boards that are loose. Depending on your repairing skills, you might be able to perform the repairs yourself. In the case of structural damage, such as rotting boards, you can opt to hire a professional. A deck must be reboarded now and then to keep its best look. Upon prolonged exposure to the elements, the boards become susceptible to water damage and need to be replaced. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to replace damaged timbers since they can rot, pose a safety hazard and reduce the aesthetic value of the deck.
Fix your deck’s fasteners, and take care not to leave splinters behind. Use a pole sander to sand off splintered areas, and push any popped-up nails back into place.
Meanwhile, filling cracks in wood decking prolongs its life. You should fill in all gaps to keep the deck in good condition and prevent it from rotting. You might also want to consider re-staining your wooden deck during this time.
Stain your deck
It’s a good idea to stain, paint or oil your deck yearly for long-lasting protection. To start the process, first, identify the kind of decking you have. Then, purchase the appropriate coating and ensure that it is properly applied. A variety of colours and opacities are available. Using a clear sealant is an option, or you can choose a colour to make your deck stand out. If you have an older wood deck, consider using a semi-transparent stain to restore its original beauty.
Before applying the coating, you should make sure that there is no rain forecast for at least 48 hours. Follow the instructions carefully when applying, and wait until the deck is completely dry before walking on it. If you’ve thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed the deck, this will help prevent the coating from bubbling or peeling after it is applied.
When staining your wooden decking, railings should also be stained. Add a vibrant element to your decking by painting the rails and posts a different colour than the deck floor.
Set up and decorate your deck
When your deck is dry, it’s time to put up the furniture and other decors. Take advantage of this opportunity to beautify your outdoor space for the summer. Set up your chairs, table, cushions, rugs, lighting, potted plants, grill and wind chimes.
Summer is the best time to enjoy hanging out on your wooden deck, whether you’re hosting outdoor dinners and backyard barbecues or simply relaxing. But before you start entertaining guests, make sure your deck is properly cleaned and prepared for summer.
If you’ve got damaged timber boards that need replacing, Enterprise Works offers deck boards of various sizes you can use for your decking. Our boards are fully treated pine and oiled for enhanced durability. Email us now or call us to learn more.