Get started on your spring deck cleaning now, before BBQ season has come and gone.
The key to getting the most out of your home’s deck throughout the year is to do a yearly spring deck cleaning and maintenance each spring.
After a long, cold winter, it’s only natural to look out at your deck with longing. Some blue skies have broken through the cloudy grays and some flowers are beginning to perk up, so now is the time to get your deck ready.
Still, those winter months have likely left your deck looking a little down. Before you can host barbecues and pool parties, let’s look at five key things you can do this weekend in order to get your deck refreshed and renewed. This includes tips on spring deck cleaning, deck material maintenance, lighting, and more.
1 | Actually Clean The Deck
After the falling leaves, rain, and slush of autumn and winter, your deck may need a good once-over. This is important to do before the weather gets warm because washing a deck in the summer can actually stress the wood.
First, we recommend cleaning the surface. Though you can also start with repairs, this cleaning process can actually do more to reveal where those repairs are needed.
Start by moving off any of the furniture or furnishings that you didn’t put away for the winter, including the grill. Grab a broom and work between the boards and clean out the cracks to get out all the dust and debris.
You could use a pressure washer to get some of that stuck on gunk off, but only on certain materials. Before getting out the pressure washer, checker with your dealer to make sure you won’t damage your deck or void your warrant.
Now that you’ve gotten the dirt out of the way, it’s time to look for repairs.
2 | Repair The Deck
All-wood decks have an especially hard time during winter. Beyond the dirt and debris, the shifts in temperature and the weather can cause warping, splintering, and cracking.
To check the health of your deck, confirm that the boards and steps are secure, the nails and screws are pounded down, and the railings don’t budge.
Having cleaned your deck, you may be more easily able to spot telltale signs of wood rot or mold, which is often discolored, or mildew. This should be repaired immediately.
Once you feel confident that your deck is in good shape structurally, it’s time to rejuvenate it.
3 | Stain The Deck
On average, it’s worthwhile to reseal or re-stain a wood deck every two to four years. This time depends on the amount of foot traffic and the amount of sun exposure your deck gets. If there’s very little shade and it’s regularly used, you can also consider a yearly stain.
A fresh stain will protect your wood deck from UV rays and moisture – the two elements that age wood the fastest.
To begin, first make sure your deck is dry. Because deck stains can take between 24 to 48 hours to dry, confirm that you’ve got a few dry days of weather ahead, too.
If you’d like to highlight the natural wood of your deck, choose a transparent stain.
For decks that are older, an opaque or solid stain can help to cover up some of the aging. What’s more, darker stains also provide your deck with longer-term UV protection.
If after your first stain you’re considering applying a second, be sure to wait about 4 hours between applications for best results.
4 | Upgrade The Deck
You’ve got a clean, safe, beautifully stained deck. Now’s the time to get fancy.
Upgrading your deck is a great way to renew your appreciation for it. So, where should you start?
One way could be thinking back to the last times you used it. Was there something you wished you’d had then? Here are a few common additions you might consider:
- Additional deck lights for safer nighttime access
- Convenient, cord-free solar lighting
- Plantar boxes to add a dash of green
- Deck heaters for those cooler autumn mornings
- Replacing deck furniture with a new, brighter color
- Screening in decks, adding shades, pergolas, or covered roofs to increase usability
From small changes to substantial ones, these improvements will make your deck even more enjoyable.
5 | Clean The Furnishings
Now it’s time to put the finishing touches. The last part of preparing your deck for spring involves one more bit of cleaning.
After all, you can’t just put the dirty grill back on your freshly cleaned deck. You can’t grab the couch and its musty cushions from the garage when everything else is spring clean.
For furniture, mix up ¼ cup of laundry detergent with a gallon of water and get scrubbing, then spray it with a hose afterwards.
Get Out There And Enjoy Your Fresh New Deck With Johnson Lumber
With a safe, beautifully stained deck and fresh (and clean!) furnishings, you’re all set to enjoy your deck.
If in your spring deck cleaning process you decide you’d like to make some bigger upgrades, we’d be happy to help.
For help with deck installation, resurfacing, and repairing, get in touch with the expert team at Johnson Lumber today. We’ve been serving Maryland for over 100 years, and we can’t wait to help you and your neighbors out!