Prepping Your Deck for the Summer: Jodi Marks Guest Blog Post

Jodi Marks

Now that the warmer months have finally arrived, it’s time to get outside and start enjoying your deck. To ensure a great summer in your outdoor living space, make sure that your deck is in good shape and looking its best. Plastic coatings can help to maintain wood decking. Or consider a new deck made with plastic composites.

If your deck is made from wood, one of the first things I recommend for getting it ready for summer is a good cleaning. Removing all the winter grit and grime is an essential step in maintaining the look of your deck. You can use a pressure washer, but if you do remember to keep the nozzle at least 8” away from the wooden surface. If the nozzle tip is too close to the wood, it can damage it.  While you are waiting for the boards to thoroughly dry (24 to 48 hours) you can spot-check your deck with the list below:

  • Pull out any popped up nails and replace with decking screws. Tighten down any screws that have loosened or popped up.
  • Replace any warped or cupped boards with new ones.
  • Check for split, cracked and splintered boards and replace them.
  • Sand down any rough areas.

Now that the deck is cleaned and repaired, it is time to stain and protect your investment. A natural looking deck is beautiful but you will need to seal it with polyurethane. Polyurethane acts as weatherproofing against rain and moisture. It is essential to ensure your deck lasts a long time.

If you want added protection against UV rays, consider staining your deck. There are a wide variety of stains available. You can choose either a solid or a semi-transparent color and most contain a mildewcide and algaecide. Once you have achieved the desired color of stain on your wood, you will need to apply polyurethane on top of your stain to protect all your hard work!

For those of you looking for more maintenance-free decking options, consider replacing your old wood one with a new plastic composite deck. They’re easy to maintain, hold up well to extreme weather, and can be made partially with recycled plastic, such as grocery bags. You’ll save on maintenance costs down the road!

Plastic composite decks need minimal cleaning from time to time, including removing surface dirt with warm, soapy water and using a stiff-bristle brush or broom to remove  oil or food stains.

Another way to get your deck ready for any summer entertaining is accessorizing! How about adding some beautiful potted flower arrangements to your outdoor living space? Plastic planters come in a huge variety of styles and colors. They are lightweight, which makes them perfect for growing and moving just about any plant. The durable plastic is weather resistant, so there’s less worry about fading or breaking due to rain, sun, snow or hail.

Decks are a wonderful addition to your home. With just a little planning and elbow grease, you can create a fantastic outdoor living space….and it all starts with a well maintained deck.