The warm weather is cause for celebrating the great outdoors. So there’s no time like the present to get your outside living spaces in order. When it comes to any decks you have, it’s important to make sure they are well-maintained and protected from the vagaries of the weather.
This Old House Magazine recently offered these tips on getting decks ready for the summer months:
Clean it up: First, sweep away any debris, also clearing away anything caught between the boards. Next, suggests This Old House, “use a garden sprayer to apply a deck cleaner with oxygen bleach (sodium bicarbonate).” Be sure to protect any siding or plants by covering it with plastic beforehand. Then, scrub off any mold or stains and rinse the deck.
Protect the finish: Spray water on the deck. “If water beads for 10 minutes, you’re done,” notes This Old House. Anywhere the water absorbs into the wood, apply a finish that matches what is already there. By doing this maintenance routinely, you might be able to avoid recoating the whole deck, as the touch-ups should blend into the older-looking finish over time.
If the deck has never been treated….: It’s time to protect your investment. When shopping for the right finish, you’ll need something that penetrates the wood. This Old House notes that oil-based products are the most effective. You’ll also want to consider what color you prefer. Semi-transparent stains offer the widest range of colors, but they hide more of the grain. If you’d rather have the wood grain show, tinted toners are best. Also check for UV protection, which will help shield your deck from sun damage.