Spring is finally near, and you want to be able to sit in the sun and enjoy your deck as soon as the temperatures allow. When the snow finally thaws for good, you want to be ready. But after surviving the winter wear and tear of snow, dirt and debris, your deck will likely require a bit of maintenance before you can fully relax and enjoy your outdoor space. That’s why it’s a good idea to start thinking ahead about preparing your wood deck for use. Here are some tips on how to get your deck ready for spring.
Complete a thorough inspection for any damage.
Freezing and thawing of snow can leave a wood deck vulnerable to rot, which can cause some serious structural issues. Look for soft spots on a deck, discoloration, splintering of the wood and places where planks have gotten loose. Depending on the type of damage, you may be able to replace individual planks to solve any issues you find. Ultimately, you want to make sure you don’t leave structural damage unaddressed – or else you may face safety issues and further damage in the future.
Once you’ve addressed any damage, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. First, remove anything that’s on the deck – including the grill, furniture and plant pots – so you can get to every leaf or forgotten food scrap you didn’t know was there. Then get out the outdoor broom and start sweeping. Pay special attention to the spaces between boards, using a putty knife to clear out the cracks where dirt and debris are often resting. Then, you can use Perma-Chink’s Log Wash to remove dirt and pollen without damaging the wood or your finish. Pressure washing works particularly well if you have a large area to clean. After you’ve cleaned the deck, it’s also a good idea to clean anything you removed that’s going back onto the deck, as these items could carry mold or rot.
Next, you’ll want to determine whether or not you need to re-stain. This normally needs to be done every 2-3 years to make sure your deck is properly protected. If you chose to stain your deck with our recommended Lifetime Wood Treatment, your deck will not need to go through this regular restaining process. No matter what product you choose, applying stain will help protect your deck from weathering and damage by UV rays, and ultimately make it last longer.
Consider upgrades and decor.
Once your deck is good and clean, consider what you may want to add this season to improve your deck. Think back to last summer and what you wished you had – perhaps that’s more shade, steps that make it easy to get to your deck, or some lighting to make it usable at night. If you’re looking for more coverage from the sun and wind, consider adding a pergola using Marks Lumber’s appearance-grade rough-cut timbers. You can find some inspiring pergola designs in our blog. Whatever you do, make it a space that works for you and your lifestyle.
Have more questions about building or maintaining your deck? Reach out to the friendly professionals at Marks Lumber. We’ll do our best to make sure you have the deck of your dreams this spring.