Many decks are exposed to the elements all year round, so it might be time to give your deck a little love. The mild days of fall provide optimal conditions for deck maintenance and preparing your outdoor space for the colder months. The three broad categories of maintenance should include repairing, cleaning, and protecting.
The first step is to fix any of the visible damage to the deck, especially cracked or rotting wood. Next check all the rails and planks to make sure they are not loose. You will also need to secure any nails or screws that have come loose or look out of place.
A thorough sweeping will remove fallen leaves, twigs, dirt, dust, cobwebs, and other unwanted debris. Be sure to also sweep away the debris that may be stuck in the cracks of your decking. Using a stiff brush, give the deck a thorough scrub with a mixture of dish soap and water. A solution of 10% chlorine bleach to water will help you scrub away any mildew stains. For extra power, you may want to consider a pressure washer. Just be sure to use proper technique to ensure the decking is not damaged and your finish is not stripped away. Using a nozzle that delivers a wider spray, set the pressure low and use a constant sweeping motion directed at an angle to the surface.
If you have a vinyl or composite deck, you don’t have to worry as much about sealing, painting, or staining for protection. However, wood decks are susceptible to damage from moisture. Frequent sealing is a major part of maintaining wood decking. When water collects on your deck, it should bead above the surface instead of absorbing into the wood. If your deck is absorbing water, it’s time for another coat of waterproof sealant. It is important that the wood be completely dry before staining or sealing. You should also apply the sealant to the railings, and all other wood areas around the deck, in order to give it an even finish.
With a weekend pressure washer rental, you can take the opportunity to knock out several jobs at once. Use this powerful cleaning weapon to spruce up your siding, driveway, walkways, or spray off patio furniture before storing it for the winter. The experts at Northside Tool Rental can help you rent the perfect pressure washer for your to-do list!