One of the advantages of living in the Sunshine State is gorgeous, warm weather, almost year-round. While our northern neighbors are busy shoveling snow, and bundling up, we’re gassing up the boat and slathering on some sunscreen. However, living on paradise’s doorstep can sometimes have its downsides. The intense heat, daily summer showers, sun rays and occasional hurricane all have the potential to do some damage to your property. If you’re not proactive in the maintenance of your outdoor spaces, what seems like normal wear a tear can easily turn into a much bigger, and more expensive, problem. Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips for keeping your backyard deck in tip-top shape, and ready to party! After all, isn’t the back deck your favorite room in the house?
1. Wash Your Deck: This one may seem obvious, but how often should you be washing your deck, and what’s the best way to do it? At a minimum, your deck should be washed once a year. The easiest way to do this is by pressure washing it, after clearing it of all furniture and debris, of course! If you don’t have access to a pressure washer, you can also clean your deck using a deck cleaning solution, a roller or sprayer scrub brush and a hose. This process may take a little longer, but can help rid your deck of unsightly mold, mildew and other stains. Because you want to give your deck plenty of time to try, if you are having a party, we recommend cleaning your deck several days in advance.
2. Sand and Seal: If your deck needs a little more loving than its annual cleaning, this step could help restore it to its former glory and keep its status as your favorite room in the house for many years to come. After you’ve cleaned your deck (and let it dry), you’ll want to lightly sand the deck to remove any splinters or defects before applying your chosen seal. And when it comes to choosing a seal, the options abound! Finish options include: clear sealer, toner, semi-transparent stain, or solid stain. Again, you’ll want to give yourself a couple days to complete this process before inviting any guests over, but once completed, your newly-stained deck is sure to be the life of the party!
3. Become a Detective: Regularly inspecting the condition of your deck can help prevent any damage from becoming a bigger problem than it has to be. Houselogic recommends that you do this once a year, paying close attention to areas within six-inches of the ground or close to the water. During your inspection, you should: look for signs of rot, inspect the ledger, check the joists, posts and beams, check for cracks or rotten decking boards, and check the railing. If you discover damage you weren’t aware of and don’t feel comfortable repairing it yourself, you should always consult with a professional rather than ignoring the problem. Better safe than sorry!
4. Replace It: Whether the damage your deck has sustained is too much to repair, or you’re ready to replace your wooden deck or dock with longer-lasting materials such as Extruded PVC, or Composite Decking, replacing your deck can provide a solution for which you’ll be thanking yourself for the next 25 years… or more!
As your marine construction experts, we have designed, built and repaired countless decks, docks and other waterfront property structures and can help you decide which option is right for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get your backyard deck party-ready!