A deck is a perfect place to relax, enjoy the pleasant spring temperatures, and entertain guests. However, after a long and chilly winter in Berlin, Maryland, your deck may need some TLC before you want to spend any time out there. Before the spring season hits, check out these simple tips to prepare your deck for the nicer weather and make the most of your outdoor space.
Check the Connections
Your deck has various connections that keep parts and components together and in one piece. These include nails that connect the wood planks to the surface of the deck, rails and the parts that hold them in place, screws, and other metal connectors. The first step in preparing your deck for the spring is making sure it’s still safe to walk on and use. Through years of normal use, the connections will suffer some wear and tear, which can cause them to loosen.
These connections provide vital reinforcement to the structure of your deck, so it’s crucial to make sure they’re in good shape. Look for warning signs like loose steps, rails that wobble, or boards that connect the deck to your home that might be pulling away from the side of the house. These can all indicate compromised safety, so you’ll need to get the loose connections tightened or replaced before you head out to enjoy the sunshine.
Look for Signs of Damage
Decks are typically made of wood, but different environmental factors can impact the overall condition of many types of wood. Moisture during the winter months can cause damage to wood, as can humidity during the warm summer season. Keep an eye out for signs of wood rot, such as mold, softer areas, discoloration, or mildew. If you do spot any warning signs, the deck may not be safe for use. In a softer spot, your foot could go right through the damaged wood. Any deteriorated sections should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
If you spot any signs of major damage, our team at Custom Mechanical offers deck repair and other improvement services in the area. We can determine just how damaged your deck is and come up with a plan for repair to ensure safety.
After checking out the condition of your deck, you can confirm whether it’s safe to use. As long as everything looks good, you can start on some DIY preparation to refresh the outdoor addition and get it ready for the spring season. A pressure washer can clean dirt and grime away quickly and efficiently. Make sure to use a mild setting, as a high pressure setting could damage the fibers of the wood.
If you have some mildew spots, but you’ve confirmed that they’re not impacting the deck’s structural integrity, use a wood cleaner to remove the stains. Some people use bleach, but this can discolor sections of the wood or damage the landscaping around your deck. You can also get on your hands and knees with a scrub brush and some mild cleaner to tackle smaller dirty sections.
Add a Fresh Coat of Stain or Sealant
One of the final steps in refreshing your deck for the warm season is adding a protective layer. If your wood is stained, you can add another coat of the same color to keep it looking similar. One of the benefits of wood is that it can be stained with different colors, so if you’ve grown tired of what you have, simply choose a color you like better and apply the stain.
After completing the staining process, you should also apply a fresh coat of sealant. In fact, deck owners should use sealant regularly, even if they don’t stain the wood. This protects against the harsh UV rays from the sun, which can cause the wood to dry out and crack. If your deck sits directly in the sun, apply sealant at least every three years to protect the wood.
Contact our team of wood deck experts at Custom Mechanical at 877-696-0808 to learn more about how we can restore your deck for the spring.