Get your Deck ready for Summer!

As the warm weather approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your deck for summer. Whether you plan on using it for outdoor entertaining, relaxing, or simply soaking up some sun, a well-maintained deck can provide the perfect space for enjoying the season. However, neglecting your deck can lead to serious problems, such as rot, insect damage, and safety hazards. Here are some tips on how to get your deck ready for summer and ensure that it’s a safe and enjoyable place to spend time.

Wooden deck
Backyard deck

Spring has arrived, which means summer and hosting gatherings on your terrace are just around the corner. How about your deck, though? Your deck may be made safe for summer entertainment with proper inspection and maintenance. Winters that are harsh and snowy can weaken your wooden deck. Ice that freezes and thaws can also cause damage, especially to wooden decks. The majority of deck collapses are caused by rotting deck boards, supports, and beams, separation from the house and the deck ledger board.

READ MORE: Importance of Spring Cleaning for Homeowners

What you see on the surface doesn’t mean that’s what your deck looks like under the top planks. Canadian winters can be very harsh to wooden structures, if snow sits on your deck for most of the winter months and days, deck lumber can get soft n just few years of installation. Therefor, a proper inspection and maintenance can help to extend the life of your summer entertaining space.

Here are some important rules and best practices on how to keep your deck last long time:

  1. Inspect the deck for damage

The first step in preparing your deck for summer is to inspect it for any signs of damage. Look for cracks, rot, loose boards, or nails that have popped up. If you find any damage, make sure to address it before using the deck. Replace any rotting boards or those that are too damaged to repair, and secure any loose boards or railings. Ensuring that the deck is structurally sound is essential for safety. Boards that are too close to each other will get damaged by water and snow faster as snow and water can’t escape, keeping the area moist for way too long. If you don’t know a friend or neighbour who is installing decks or fences for living, paying a professional deck company to inspect your deck every 2-3 years is not a bed idea at all. A small investment in professional deck inspection can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs.

2. Clean the deck

Before you start using the deck for the season, it’s important to give it a thorough cleaning. Sweep away any debris, including leaves and branches, and use a power washer to remove any dirt or stains. If you have a deck that is not covered by trees and is not sitting in shade all the time, than you could possibly just hose down your deck to remove dirt and debris. In case of having leaf stains, mildew, algae or other contaminants, pressure washing is way to go. If you don’t have a power washer, you can use a deck cleaner and a scrub brush to remove any grime. A clean deck not only looks better, but it can also prevent slips, falls and premature aging.

Decks in Canada
Wooden deck

3. Stain or seal the deck

Once the deck is clean and dry, it’s time to apply a stain or sealer. This will protect the wood from moisture and the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause it to fade and deteriorate. If you have a newer deck, it may not need to be stained, but you should still apply a sealer. Older decks will likely need both. Make sure to choose a stain or sealer that’s appropriate for your deck’s wood type and climate. Depending on your climate, stain could be very problematic product to have for years to come. Canadian winters are very cold with a lot of snow that can and probably will act as sand paper when sitting on stained deck for longer time. It is not very uncommon to see one year old stain pealing after long winter. For best results, speak to deck maintenance professionals in your area. Staining can be very expansive process and being your freshly stained deck peeling in just couple of months can be very upsetting. Therefore, it is recommended to leave staining and sealing to the professionals.

4. Add some furniture and decor

Now that your deck is clean, safe, and protected, it’s time to add some furniture and decor to make it a welcoming space. Consider adding a table and chairs for outdoor dining, some comfortable seating for lounging, and some potted plants or hanging baskets for a touch of greenery. Don’t forget to add some outdoor lighting, such as string lights or lanterns, for when the sun goes down. In most cases in most places in Canada, you might want to add some mosquito lamps just as precaution.

READ MORE: Dos and don’ts when it comes to staining wooden decks and fences

Wooden deck maintenance in Ontario

5. Maintain your deck throughout the summer

Remember that maintaining your deck is an ongoing process. Throughout the summer, you’ll need to sweep away debris, clean up spills, and reapply sealer as needed. Regular maintenance will help keep your deck in good condition and ensure that it’s a safe and enjoyable place to spend time all season long. Clean and dry deck, without algae, moss, fungi and stain will last you for long time.

6. How to maintain your deck during winter

To maintain your deck during winter months means to prepare your deck for winter. When the first snow starts to fall, there will be not much you can do. You could possibly sweep the snow from the deck. Do not shovel the snow from the deck, especially if your deck is stained as shovel can scratch the lumber surface. Instead of worrying what happens under the snow in winter, inspecting, cleaning and sealing your deck during spring will be the vest maintenance and winter preparation you can do.

By following maintenance best practices, your deck will last longer and will be safe and sound for many years.

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