Adding a deck to your home is one of the most valuable additions for resale value. But just like the inside of your home, a good-quality deck requires regular maintenance throughout the year.
Depending on the type of decking material you choose, your deck may require less or more maintenance. Wood composite materials are not as demanding, whereas real wood requires periodic sealing and a decent amount of upkeep.
Unfortunately, your deck is not going to clean itself. Check out this guide on deck maintenance and few extra tips on maintaining a paved patio, too!
Deck Maintenance 101: Spring Time is Cleaning Time
Once you’ve made it through winter, there are a few areas of your home that require a little extra TLC, not least of which is your deck. Your home’s exterior takes a pounding through winter, and a neglected, unwashed wooden deck is a recipe for mildew, mold, and rot.
One of the best ways to protect outdoor furniture is with patio covers to keep your maintenance tasks to a minimum. Learn how to choose the best patio covers here: https://www.buttefence.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-patio-covers-of-idaho/
Spring is a good time to do a thorough clean down of your deck and outdoor patio areas, so here’s how to properly clean your deck:
Step 1: Remove Debris
Leaves, sticks, stones, and other organic matter will have lodged itself between your deck boards. Use a putty knife and remove all the debris buildup, then sweep the area clean.
Step 2: Deep Clean
Depending on your decking material, you’ll need to choose an appropriate cleaner. For wooden decks, go for a standard deck cleaner and follow instructions. Composite decks require a specific cleaner, formulated for composite materials. Get rid of oil and grease stains with a commercial degreaser or detergent.
If your deck is made from vinyl material, warm water, and soap work a treat in removing dirt, mildew, and mold. If you choose to high-power wash your deck, don’t overdo it. Keep the pressure washer nozzle at least 8-inches from the deck and use a uniform, sweeping motion.
Step 3: Seal the Deal
Once your deck has been cleaned, it’s time to re-seal it if it’s made from wood. Look for a high-quality sealer that suits your deck material. Some of the best wood sealants are clear, allowing for the natural wood texture to shine through.
Otherwise, opt for a sealant with a toner in it, which helps to enhance the color and grain of the wood, while also providing UV protection. Solid wood stains are completely opaque in color and are a great option for decks with weather damage and faded wood.
Midsummer: Inspect and Repair Where Necessary
As the weather grows warmer and drier, this is a good time to do a thorough once-over of your deck and certain repair jobs that may be a bit more laborious. Pay attention to areas of your deck that are close to a source of water, such as downspouts and faucets, and planters. Make sure to inspect deck areas within 6-inches of the ground, too.
Look out for common symptoms of wood rot. Some areas worth checking include staircases and perimeter posts. You should also inspect the underside of your deck and the deck ledger — the frame that attaches your deck to your house.
Check the integrity of deck joists, posts, railing, and beams. Make sure all your deck hardware is in good condition. Anything that is overly rusted should be replaced.
Fall: Preparing For a Change in Weather
Deck maintenance tasks during the fall are purely preventative. This is another good time to wash and re-seal your deck before winter hits.
Some other important maintenance tasks include the trimming of bushes and trees surrounding your deck. Make sure they are at least 12-inches from your deck surface to prevent a buildup of water, mildew, and mold. Clear out the buildup of leaves and other debris as fall progresses, don’t just leave piles to rot.
Cover up your patio furniture with top-quality covers, and move your furniture around occasionally to avoid discoloring areas of your deck. Make sure all your gutters and downspouts are in top condition.
Bonus Patio Maintenance Tips
You may not have a wood patio that extends from your home, but rather a paved patio that you use for entertaining and relaxing. Patio maintenance is a little less demanding, but here are a few tips for clean and well-maintained patio pavers:
1. Kill Weeds Naturally
Instead of buying chemically-laden weed killers, you can use a simple mixture of white vinegar and dishwashing soap to do the same job. This is a great option if you have small pets and children and want to keep harmful chemicals out of your home.
Mix white vinegar and one teaspoon of dishwashing soap into a spray bottle. The soap helps to coat the weeds in the vinegar, while the acidity breaks down the plant. It’s best to spray weeds during periods of bright sunlight to allow for the vinegar to be fully absorbed.
This is a great patio maintenance task to do at the end of every winter and the beginning of each fall.
2. Prevent Weed Growth
One of the best ways to keep weed growth at bay between your patio pavers is with polymeric sand. This substance prevents weeds from popping up between stones and prevents bugs from living between your paves.
Ants and other bugs can burrow between pavers, form nests, and eventually find their way into your home. Polymeric sand, which can found at any home store, helps to prevent this.
Before applying the sand, make sure to remove any existing weeds between paver stones. You can either use a high-power washer or do so by hand. After this, sprinkle the polymeric sand evenly between your pavers every spring and fall.
3. Treat Your Patio Stones
A great product on the market today for the treatment and cleaning of patio stones is Wet & Forget. This product uses surfactants along with sunshine, rain, and wind to lift dirt and debris from your patio surface.
Simply mix one-part Wet & Forget with five-parts of water into a spray bottle. Spray liberally over your patio pavers and leave it to dry. Ideally, this simple process should be repeated every 3-4 months for beautiful, clean, and well-maintained pavers!
A Home and Garden Fix Right at Your Fingertips
Patio and deck maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated or laborious. With the regular upkeep of these outdoor areas of your home, you can maintain the overall value of your property for the long-term.
For more tips, tricks, and informative articles on DIY home and garden tasks, don’t miss out on the rest of the website. Keep your home in tip-top condition and explore our site for more.