Spring Maintenance for Your Deck

 Spring maintenance will keep your deck safe, attractive and ready to enjoy all summer long.

No matter what part of the country you live in, spring is the perfect time of year for annual deck-maintenance chores. Rain, snow, and fluctuating temperatures can create all types of damage, dangerous trip hazards and leave behind debris that discolors the wood and encourages decay. Decks made from composite materials may not require as much maintenance as wooden decks, but they should still be inspected for safety and be properly cleaned. Before you fire up the grill follow these steps to keep your deck safe, attractive and ready to enjoy all summer long.

1. Clear the deck of all furniture or equipment left out during the winter. Sweep the surface thoroughly. Using a broom instead of a leaf blower gives you a better opportunity to see potential problems as you clean. Pay special attention to the spaces between the boards and "floss" out debris with your broom to allow for proper drainage. 
2. Look up! Sweep away cobwebs clinging to the eaves above the deck and look for nests or hives that may have been missed during last fall's cleaning. Also look for and trim back overhanging branches that could pose a safety hazard.

To protect bare summer feet, countersink nails and sand down splintered areas.

3. Inspect posts and railings for loose connections. Use caution when inspecting safety barriers, and don't lean against them. Wiggle or push the railings with the end of a broom as you stand safely away from the deck's age. Make repairs as needed.
4. Jump up and down on your deck. Yes, treating your deck like a trampoline can alert you to structural support problems. If you feel or see the deck sway while jumping complete a thorough inspection of the support system.
5. Walk slowly back and forth on the deck looking for raised nails or splintered wood and make the necessary repairs. To protect bare summer feet, countersink nails and sand down splintered areas until they are smooth.

Wooden decks need re-staining every 2 years.
6. Clean the deck with a mild solution of bleach and water or a bottled deck-cleaning product. Follow directions carefully, and avoid spraying the cleaning solution onto plants.

7. Depending on traffic, weather, and other factors, wooden decks need re-staining every two to four years. If your deck is due for a new coat of stain, now's the time to brush one on.

Basic cleaning and maintenance aren't the only deck improvement chores you can tackle this spring. Transform you deck into the backyard paradise you've always wanted by adding solar lighting, planter boxes and built-in seating.

For more home tips please visit homechanneltv.com.

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