Decks have a special purpose for a home. They’re meant to provide a comfortable living area on the outside. They take a beating being exposed to the elements year-round. A poorly constructed deck can lead to years of headaches for homeowners. Loose boards, shaky foundations, and protruding fasteners are all problems that can be avoided with proper construction. Here are six tips to make sure your decks last all summer (and winter too).
Clean Up. It was a brutal winter in most areas of the country and, if you’re like me, it snuck up quickly. So that means you didn’t have time to clean up all the fall leaves, sticks and branches. Now that spring is upon us, it’s time to get outside and start cleaning. Sweep the deck thoroughly, getting up all the old leaves and pine needles from the trees. It should be free of all debris.
Deep Clean. You didn’t think you’d get off that easy, did you? Time to pull out the pressure washer. If you or your friendly neighbor do not have one, these can be rented from your nearest hardware or big box store. Time to get spraying, making sure to start at one end working towards the other. This will clean all the dirt that has collected over the winter as well as the pollen that has been flying around.
Repair. Now that you have a clean deck and all debris and dirt has been removed, let’s check for loose boards. Moisture and sun exposure over time can loosen screws and nails. You don’t want an uneven or unstable deck that could cause safety hazards, like stepping on a protruding screw or nail with bare feet. If your deck needs repairs, there is an easy solution. Turn to the hidden fasteners in the InvisiDeck® Hidden SCRAIL® Deck Fastening System. This deck fastening system creates a completely smooth finish with no visible fasteners. Designed to be used with grooved boards, it can be adapted for use in non-grooved hardwood or composite materials with the use of BECK's groove cutter. The clips and SCRAIL® are installed under the deck's surface, and hold tight without being seen.
Extend. At this point in the process the deck is looking good, however it may even look better if you considered extending the outdoor space. Whether it is to accommodate your growing family, the new grill, or the patio set you have been eyeing, making room is possible. By combining high-quality materials and fasteners with careful installation, you ensure your deck will last. Choosing decking that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance can definitely make next spring and summer a lot easier.
Seal the Deal. If you have chosen decking that needs to be stained or painted, now is the time. Your weather and frequency of use will determine how often this needs to be done. Is your deck in the scorching sun all day? Or do you see a reasonable amount of shade? Is your deck used a lot throughout the season or just occasionally? Staining your deck once a season is not a bad idea, this helps to seal the wood from the elements. If you are tired of staining decks each year, consider rebuilding with composite wood. It’s eco-friendly, rot- and insect-proof, resists fading, never splinters, and is made from eco-friendly materials.
Deck It Out. Time to pull all the outdoor furniture out of the garage. Arrange your furniture in a way to create multiple gathering places. Maybe buy some new cushions or throw pillows to add color. Add some new flowers to planters around the deck. This will make it start to feel like summer. Accessorize with lanterns or candles that are great for summer nights. And finally, if the grill isn’t already out pull that out too.
Now it’s time to get out there and enjoy this time of year! To keep your deck looking good for years to come, regardless of climate, use durable materials, high-quality fasteners, and a best-in-class installation system, like InvisiDeck® Hidden SCRAIL®.