Maintenance / July 8, 2020
With the temperature warming from spring to summer, we’re moving into the best season for hosting out on the deck. However, after a long winter, your wood deck may need some tender love and care before it’s time to grill out, so we’ve compiled seven tips to help you streamline your springtime deck maintenance.
#1. Start by testing for rot. – Paying special attention to the areas of the deck that have prolonged exposure to water, use a screwdriver to test for any troublesome soft spots.
#2. Look for insect damage. – Keep your eyes peeled for small holes in your deck and use the butt of your screwdriver to tap the wood. If you see holes, hear hollow sounds, and find discarded wings, you may have insects eating away at your deck.
#3 Inspect for cracks. – An essential part of deck maintenance is merely being mindful of the condition and progression of any cracks in your deck so you can be ready to replace any beams when necessary.
#4. Conduct a water drop test. – Every few years, you’ll need to refinish your deck. A water drop test is an incredibly easy way to test if this is the year for re-treating—simply pour a little water on your deck. If the water absorbs into the wood, you’ll want to reseal your deck this year; if the water beads and rolls off the wood, your deck is set for another year!
#5. Deep clean your deck. – A yearly deck deep clean removes stains, kills mold, and promotes the longevity of your deck. Cleaning solutions designed for deck maintenance can be used while scrubbing the deck with a stiff-bristled brush. Also, you can use a high-pressure washer on a low setting (pressure washers are usually available for rental at hardware stores) or a basic garden hose outfitted with a “fireman” nozzle for a vigorous rinse. Pro-tip: When using a chemical cleaner, don’t forget to cover any nearby shrubs or flowers so that they don’t get damaged while you clean your deck.
#6. Finish your deck. – Finishes and sealants that lay over the top of the wood (lacquers, varnishes, etc.) will inevitably crack and peel; look instead for a finish that will soak into the wood itself.
#7. Don’t forget to regularly sweep. – Not only does periodically sweeping your deck keep it looking sharp, but it will also help stave off the premature aging that often comes with dead leaves and dirt buildup.
If you find yourself with deck repairs on your hands, contact your local Handyman Connection office! Call or text us! We’d love to give you a free estimate.