Is Your Backyard Deck Ready to Entertain?
You are all unpacked and the weather is warming up, which means you are ready to start entertaining on your backyard deck. You for sure want to invite all your friends and family who offered helpful moving advice, so they can see the place you now call home. Well, since it is nice out you will want to enjoy your deck, but first you might need to do a little work to make it ready for entertaining.
Inspect Your Backyard Deck
If you are fortunate enough to have a brand new deck then you might not need to do much besides wash and furnish it. Otherwise you will want to carefully inspect the entire deck, including the areas you cannot see.
It is easy to tell if there is a piece of warped wood or the railing is broken, but inspection goes well beyond the obvious. Are there any nails sticking out? This could cause a painful injury to a bare foot or pet paw. Nails around the railing should be inspected, as well.
Also, just because decking boards appear to be in a good shape does not mean that they are not rotting underneath. You need to get a flashlight and inspect the support system and steps. You are looking for rotten wood and cracks. If you are not sure what you should be looking for then hire a contractor. Use similar wood for boards that need to be replaced, and it is a good idea to use hot-dipped galvanized nails.
Clean the Backyard Deck
Before you grab the hose, give the deck a good sweep. There is no point spraying all that debris off the side where the wind will just blow it back to the deck. Use a spraying attachment on a garden hose to spray the surface. Use the sprayer’s most powerful setting and start on one side and work your way across. You do not want to randomly spray in all directions. Hold the sprayer close to heavily soiled areas to loosen as much dirt as possible.
If you are using a pressure washer do not hold it as close to the deck or the pressure can damage the wood.
To scrub the deck use a commercial cleaner or a little laundry soap and water. A long-handed brush or push broom is great for scrubbing the surface. Rinse away all soap.
Treat Mildew on the Backyard Deck
If you have mildew or algae use oxygen bleach cleaner. If you choose to use a simple bleach and water solution you will want to make sure it is not going to discolor the deck by testing on a discreet area. Oxygen bleach is better because it will not discolor wood or harm the environment around the deck.
Seal the Backyard Deck
Make sure your deck is properly sealed. If it is exposed daily to the elements it will age faster. If your deck was previously sealed you want to remove old coatings or stains, clean the deck, and then seal. Always wear closed-toed shoes, rubber gloves, and safety glasses during this step or you may not be inviting over all those people who gave you moving advice after all.