Spring is the best time to perform maintenance on your deck. The mild temperatures and longer days make it easier to tackle outdoor projects, and taking care of your deck now can help prevent bigger problems down the road as well as ensure your deck is ready for the months of use during the spring, summer and fall.
We’ll go over some tips for maintaining your deck in the spring to ensure you can relax the rest of the year. Following these steps each year will ensure the life of you deck is maximized through the years to come.
Clean Your Deck
The first step to proper maintenance is to give your deck a thorough cleaning. Use a pressure washer or a mixture of water and deck cleaner to remove dirt, grime, and any other build-up from the surface. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner and use caution when using a pressure washer, as the high pressure can damage the wood if used improperly.
When pressure washing softer woods such as cedar and pine, you’ll want to keep the pressure to about 500 - 700psi. With harder woods, you should be able to pressure wash in the 1200 – 1500psi range. For composites, vinyl and pvc you can to keep the psi between 1600 – 2000psi. While pressure washing, use a fan nozzle to ensure the pressure is spread evenly. While pressure washing, don’t bring the nozzle closer than 8 inches to the decking as you can damage the decking. Ensure the deck is rinsed thoroughly when you’re finished.
Repair Any Damage
Once your deck is clean and dry, inspect it for any damage or rot. Look for loose or splintered boards or scratched/worn/faded boards on composite and pvc decks, as well as any areas where the wood has become soft or discolored. If you find any damage, make repairs as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening or injury. You may need to replace damaged boards or use wood filler to repair smaller areas of rot.
Sand and Refinish - Wood Decks
If your deck is looking a bit worn, you may want to sand it down and apply a new finish. Sanding will help to smooth out any rough spots and create a more even surface. Once you've finished sanding, apply a wood preservative or finish to protect the wood and give it a fresh look. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and allow the finish to dry completely before using the deck.
Check and Tighten Hardware
Screws and nails that are sticking out can lead to injury or ruin clothes. They can also lower the life of your deck; if there are too many loose screws or nails, they can reduce the integrity of the structure. Make sure all of the screws, nails and bolts on your deck are tight and secure. If you find any that are loose, tighten them up to prevent the deck from becoming unstable.