No Winter Lasts Forever; No Spring Skips its turn; No Deck Cleans Itself!
Spring is just around the corner (can you believe it’s already time to move the clocks back this Sunday!?) While we all look forward to the warmer weather, there are a few things that your spring outdoor living experience can transitions into summer seamlessly and without any worries.
This is the perfect time for an annual deck inspection. With the winter snow and colder temperatures receding, check and see if the weight and moisture of the snow has had any long term effect on your deck. If you’ve discovered these elements have had a negative effects on your decking, it’s important to check for damage.
First, check for any corroded or loose fasteners. This is especially important for older decks that were built using nails or plastic decking, or softer woods like pine and cedar. If you spot any fasteners that appear to be on their last legs it is important to replace them immediately! The last thing you want is for a scary and sudden deck collapse, especially if someone is standing on it!
If you are unsure about the safety and stability of your deck DO NOT STEP ON IT! Call a licensed contractor to come and inspect the deck before hand, and let them make any fixes if needed.
Now, when it comes to annual maintenance of your deck, cleaning is just as important as the inspections.
Routine cleaning will expand the life of your deck. After the winter, there is the possibility trapped dirt and debris have taken hold between the gaps on the decking. Spring time means lots of blooming flowers, fruits, and leaves. Nature is bustling, and frankly, it doesn’t care if it gets your deck messy or not.
This is where you come in. Keeping your deck clear of any foreign debris is crucial. When organic elements sit on you deck, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The mold and mildew can wreak havoc on your decking by slipping into any crevice it can find. These trapped elements can make it easier for any material to decay. It’s crucial to keep your deck clean as you possibly can.
Since changes to your deck’s appearance happen slowly, it’s difficult to notice when it’s time to clean or refinish. Creating a calendar can help you keep track of scheduled maintenance. Not only does routine deck cleaning save your deck from becoming a snack for your uninvited guests, but it keeps your deck looking fresh, all with just a few sweeps of a broom.
Sweeping the deck surface at least once a week is the best thing you can do for your deck. Regardless of the decking material you use, the occasional scrubbing with warm water and mild soap is a good idea. Doing this will help prevent any traces of mold or mildew from taking hold.
Now, if for any reason you feel as if the soap mixture does not clean the decking, you can use an APPROVED deck cleaner. Now I stress the importance of “approved” because with exotic hardwood such as Ipe or Cumaru, it is crucial to use a cleaner specifically designed for that type of wood. If a generic cleaner is used it can destroy the integrity of the board.
Routine cleaning is an easy way to ensure your deck will last longer. Taking these few simple steps will allow you to enjoy your deck this spring with no worries!
If you want to replenish the color of your deck, now is also a great time to apply one coat of Hardwood Deck Finish. Not only will you enhance the color of the material, but you’ll increase its overall lifespan.