For many American homeowners, the early weeks of summer are an invitation to take the party out to the backyard patio or deck. Before you haul out the grill and light the tiki torches, however, take some time to do a little preventive repair and maintenance.
- First – complete a thorough inspection of the entire structure to ensure that it is safe and secure. Check for loose nails and screws, and either replace them or re-tighten them. Tighten any railings that have become loose during the winter.
- Second – look beneath the deck to confirm that beams and support poles remain in good working order. If you find structural components that are loose, rotten or out of position, for your own safety, quit using the deck and call a pro in to fix the problem.
As an additional safety precaution, replace broken or rotten deck boards before they break through completely. Boards that have become bowed or warped will also need to be replaced because they hold water and make the deck surface uneven, and create another potential safety hazard. If you’re replacing those boards with pressure-treated lumber, maximize the life of your deck by using stainless steel or high-grade galvanized fasteners designed to combat the corrosive effects of modern lumber treatment chemicals.
Once everything is secure, clean the deck boards with a biodegradable deck cleaner to remove dirt, mildew and algae. These environmentally friendly solvents are now commonly available and actually perform better than previously popular outdoor wood cleaners such as bleach. Even if your deck is made from a composite material, most manufacturers still recommend a thorough annual cleaning. During the cleaning process, also take a little time to sand down any spots that have become rough or splintered.
If the deck appears to need a lot of repair, please consider having the deck surface and railing replaced with new maintenance free composite material. Normally the structure and framing of the deck is in good shape which will allow for a simple re-facing of the deck surface. This will not only enhance the living space but resale value is a premium.
For more information and any questions feel free to take a picture of your deck and send it to Shannon@premierremodels.com and we will be happy to return some added suggestions for repair and replacement options.