Springtime is near, which means our winter hibernation will soon be coming to an end. It won’t be long until your deck will be needed after a long day of work or to host barbeques with family and friends. Unfortunately, the winter elements commonly damage our beloved decks; therefore, it’s important to follow these steps to ensure that your deck is warm weather ready.
The first thing to do when preparing your deck for spring is to inspect and know what damages the winter weather may have caused. First, always check the floor for loose or raised boards and popped nails/screws.
Wooden decks are especially vulnerable to cold winter weather. The cold may have caused debris buildup, splintering or cracking, and even a possible collapse. Composite or vinyl decking typically do not require as much maintenance, but we still recommend you do a complete inspection to make sure it’s safe and sturdy.
Once your deck has passed your safety inspection, it should be properly cleaned. Clear your deck of all plants and furniture, and make sure all debris is cleaned between each board and swept off the top. Next, it is time to use a proper cleanser to clean your deck. Wooden decks normally require a standard deck cleaner and may require a quick soaking beforehand. Composite desks require a specific cleanser, and vinyl decks simply require warm soapy water. A paint roller can be used as an effective tool to spread the cleanser throughout the deck. After using the chemical cleanser, you should wash it down with water to make future staining most effective. An unwashed, uncleaned, and neglected deck can suffer from mold and mildew buildup, which can lead to potential rotting overtime.
Now that your deck has been properly cleaned and has had time to dry, the next step is determining if it requires staining to achieve that perfect color you are looking for. Typically, decks should be stained every 2-4 years and the staining will last longer if the deck is routinely cleaned. Proper staining is all about timing. Make sure you check your weather forecast before you make plans to stain your deck. The best time to stain a deck is between 50-90 degree temperatures, when the deck is not exposed to direct sunlight, and when rain is not in the forecast for a couple days. Do not rush to get your deck stained before the start of spring because there is likely still moisture present in the wood from the winter weather. Make sure to be patient when staining your deck, and also use a good quality stain.
Now it’s time to arrange your deck furniture and grill to create your own little outdoor paradise. Follow these simple steps and you will have a beautiful looking deck come springtime! If you have any questions on your deck’s maintenance, call us at 618-259-7434. And remember, if you currently don’t have a deck you are happy with, Fischer Lumber has everything you need to build a deck that will stand tall through the toughest of winters.