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Check Your Deck Before Summer Ends


Wooden pergola kit with privacy lattice.

If you’re lucky enough to have a deck, I hope you’ve been spending a lot of time on it this summer. Grilling out, listening to music, chatting with friends, and reading are just a few activities that are even more enjoyable when done on a deck. As summer draws to a close, it’s a good time to evaluate the condition of your deck before the cold weather hits. This simple checklist can get you started on your late-summer deck maintenance.

Seal the Deck

It’s a good time to seal your deck. Sealing your deck prevents rain, snow, and other moisture from soaking into the wood, causing rot and other damage. Sealant can also stop the growth of mildew. If you’re not sure whether you need to seal your deck, try a simple test: Sprinkle several drops of water on the surface of your deck. If the water soaks into the wood right away, your deck needs to be sealed.

Cover Your Grill

Do you leave your grill out on the deck year-round? If so, you should take steps to protect its surface from the snow, ice, and rain. Some grills are sold with their own weather-resistant cover, but if you don’t have a cover, take measurements of your grill and purchase one in an appropriate size.

Hose Off Your Deck Furniture

Late-summer deck maintenance should also include hosing off your deck furniture. Plastic chairs, glass tables, and patio umbrellas need to be free of dirt before storing them in your shed or garage. Place the furniture in your yard and use a garden hose to rinse them. I suggest setting your hose nozzle on a full or vertical spray to remove dirt and stubborn stains on plastic furniture. If necessary, you can clean it with a mild soap and a soft-bristled brush. Leave the items out in the sun for a couple of hours to dry.

Pressure-Wash the Deck

Pressure-washing can get rid of embedded and loose dirt on the boards of your deck. You can use a push broom to sweep the water off of the deck and loosen even more dirt from the boards. If you don’t own a pressure-washer, you can rent one at a local hardware store.

Trim Any Bushes Near the Deck

Chances are good that you have some bushes or other plants growing near your deck. During the summertime, these bushes and plants may have started to grow through the balusters of your deck railing. It’s a good time to trim these bushes so your deck will be ready to enjoy next spring.

Inspect the Ledger of Your Deck

The ledger is what connects a deck to a house, so it’s important that it is securely in place. Give the ledger a visual inspection, and if you think there is an issue, call a deck professional to evaluate it.

Tighten Loose Screws

Tightening loose screws on your deck is another maintenance task to take care of in late summer. Sometimes, the screws in railings and floorboards can become loose over time. Tightening them increases the safety of your deck and can keep the parts of your deck firmly in place over the cold weather months.

Completing your deck maintenance checklist helps you lay the groundwork for more good times on your deck next spring and summer! Thanks for reading. – Alan

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