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A deck is a perfect spot to relax, enjoy the warm spring temperatures, and entertain guests at your home. However, after a long and chilly New England, your deck may need a little TLC before you want to spend any time out on it. Before the prime spring season hits, use these simple tips to prepare your deck for the nicer weather and to make the most of your outdoor space.
Check the Connections
Decks have many connections that keep everything together and in one piece. This includes nails that connect the wood planks to the surface, rails, and the parts that keep them in place, screws, and other metal pieces. The first step you should do in preparing your deck for the spring is to make sure it’s still safe to walk on and use. Through seasons of regular use, the connections will get some wear and tear, which can cause them to loosen up.
These connections reinforce the structure of your deck, so it’s crucial to make sure they’re in good shape before a season of constant use. Look for warning signs that there are wear and tear, such as loose steps, wobbly rails, or planks that are connected to your home that might be separating. These can all compromise your safety, so you’ll need to get the loose connections fixed or replaced before you start using the deck.
Look for Signs of Damage
Decks are usually made out of wood, but various environmental factors can impact the overall condition of many wood materials. Moisture during the winter months can cause damage to wood, and so can humidity during the warm summer months. Keep your eye out for signs of wood rot, including mold, discoloration, softer areas, or mildew. If you see any warning signs, the deck may not be safe for use. In a softer place, your foot could end up going right through the damaged wood. Any deteriorated sections should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
After confirming the condition of your deck, you can see whether it’s safe to use. As long as all of it looks good, you can get started on some preparation to refresh the space and get it ready for the warm sunny days of being outdoors. Pressure washers can clean dirt and grime away quickly and effortlessly. Be sure to use a mild setting because high-pressure could damage the fibers of the wood.
Fresh Coat of Stain or Sealant
One of the last steps in getting your deck ready for the warm weather is adding a protective layer onto it. If the wood is stained, you can add another coat of that same color to keep it looking similar. A great benefit of wood is that it can be stained with many different colors, so if you get tired of what you have and want to change it up, pick a color you like more and apply the stain.