Spring Clean Your Deck
[singlepic id=42 w=320 h=240 float=right]After the tough winter our area has had over the past couple months, even the best built decks could use a little TLC, especially if it is more than 10 years old. It’s important make sure that your deck is structurally sound. Here is a helpful checklist that would make for a smart annual tradition that could help ensure that your deck is acciden-free and bare-foot friendly.
- Sweep your deck clean of debris, and use a putty scraper to remove any built-up organic matter between the deck boards.
- To remove any dark stains on your cedar deck, which are usually caused by tannin bleeding, clean the spot with detergent and water. For stubborn stains, use an oxalic acid-based wood cleaner.
- Tackle mildew with a solution of three quarts water, one quart oxygen bleach and 1/4 cup of ammonia-free liquid dishwasher detergent, suggests the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. Apply liberally and allow it to set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse the surface clean. On tougher mildew stains, apply the solution with a soft bristle brush.
- Check your wood deck for popped nails, or places the nail head is sticking out of the surface of the wood. Pound them back into the wood or replace them with deck screws.
- Examine several different areas of your deck to make sure the wood is not split or decaying. \
- Check for small holes in the wood that may indicate the presence of insects.
- Look for boards that are badly cracked or warped. These could be replaced with new boards of the same type of wood.
- Push on all railings to make sure they are secure, paying special attention to handrails for all stairs.
- Make sure stairs are even, without sagging and do not move or sway when tested.
- After thoroughly cleaning your deck and allowing it 2-3 days to dry completely, reapply deck stain if needed.