Get Your Deck in Shipshape for the Spring

Each long winter, we all look forward to the start of spring when we can step into the backyard and enjoy the sun and warmth. Perhaps you like to entertain friends on your deck, flip a few burgers for a barbecue out there, or sip a cold drink while kicking back on a deck chair and enjoying a quiet moment of relaxation. Now is the time to make sure your deck is up to the task. 

"It's been a rough, wet winter and the elements have not been kind to your deck," says Joe Catanzarite of Deck Restore, LLC. "It's important to fix problems as soon as you see them so they don't grow into bigger, more costly issues." 

Some things to look for are loose nails, cracked and warped boards, and dry rot (which can cause permanent damage). Common trouble like mold and mildew not only diminish the beauty of the wood, but also can make the deck dangerously slippery. Debris must be removed, as it retains moisture and can stain the wood.

"It's not hard to keep your deck in good shape," says Catanzarite. "Cleaning and staining it every couple of years will prevent things like mildew and dry rot. Decks that are already suffering damage can be stripped and restored."

Catanzarite says that while homeowners can do some things to maintain their decks, they should leave the pressure washing, stripping, staining, and replacing rotten boards to the professionals. 

"It's very easy to unintentionally damage the wood if you aren't experienced with the pressure washer. Also, the chemicals used for stripping a deck must be mixed and used properly."

If you keep your deck clean and properly sealed and stained, it will last for many years to come. "A little upkeep goes a very long way," says Catanzarite.