As the little ones get ready to go back to school and we ring the last hurrahs out of summer, it’s time to take care of a few essential late-summer home improvement tasks. Topping that list should be some pre fall deck maintenance and repair.
On a mild weekend, go out and give your deck a good once over. Then take care of any issues that creep up. It’s best to get this done sooner rather than later, before the chilly weather gets here. You also don’t want to leave these tasks till next spring, because that’s when you want to start enjoying your deck again.
If your deck was built with pressure treated lumber, then it should still be in pretty good shape (of course, giving it a once over anyway is a good idea). On the other hand, if the wood is untreated, you’ll definitely want to check it from top to bottom for any signs of rot.
The thing about rot, is that it generally occurs in hard to see places. So grab a flashlight and something like a pen or screwdriver that you can use to gently test any questionable areas.
Wood against damp grass is an absolute magnet for rot. So, if any part of the wood structure directly touches the ground, check there first. You also want to check the ledger, all of the posts and stairs.
Next up are your decking boards. In addition to rot, check your boards for any cracks or popped nails. If you find significant rot, you’ll want to replace the board. Replace any popped nails with new nails and secure your boards.
Lastly, be sure to give your railing and any built-in seating a good wiggle to ensure that they are good and sturdy.
Decks that were washed and sealed in spring are pretty much ready to be put to bed (eventually). However, if this wasn’t part of your springtime cleanup, now is the time to take care of things.
To properly clean your deck, use a blower or sturdy broom to remove any debris and then give it a good scrub with a power washer. To remove any stains, give your deck a scrub with the appropriate cleaner for your type of wood.
To Seal or Not to Seal?
Wondering if your deck needs to be resealed? The easiest way to determine this is by observing the behaviour of water on the wood. If you sprinkled any of the boards with water, does the water bead up or immediately soak in? If the water soaks in the second it hits the deck, then it’s time to reseal.
Need Some Help?
If you are unable to take on any required deck repair tasks, you can contact a local handyman to do them for you. Of course, as always, be sure to do your homework first. Get at least three different quotes and read reviews from past clients prior to hiring anyone.