Spring: Prepping the Deck
Prepping the Deck
Whether you have a wood or concrete deck or patio it does take a little preparation and elbow grease to get it all ready for summer. The winter inevitably leaves its mark with algae and moss and we need to get rid of it in order to enjoy our time outdoors to the fullest AND to prolong the life of our deck.
It is time to clean my concrete deck this weekend. With summer sneaking up on ius like it has I need to get on that!! The BBQ ahs already been a blaze and yet I still don’t have my deck in order. This weeknd! Because my deck is up top at my place getting a pressure washer up there would be a bit of a challenge so I picked up a container of oxy-bleach which is a hydrogen peroxide /oxygen bleach that is non toxic to plants and safer to use than chlorine bleach. I will use it as per the instructions as I did last year and my deck came up nice and clean!
Another method of cleaning a deck would be power washing. This takes considerably more elbow grease in my opinion and can take off a layer of paint if the pressure is too high but it is a great way to clean it if you don’t want to use any chemical cleaners. You can rent a machine if you are feeling inclined to do it yourself or there are many companies around that will be happy to give free estimates.
I had a huge deck in my old house. Some years I would pressure wash it myself and other years I would hire someone. Often the same company that cleans the deck can also apply a wood sealer or stain if necessary. I found our deck needed that stain or sealer about every other year so on the “off” years I would do it myself. One simple way to test if your deck needs to be resealed is to pour a glass of water on it. If it beads up it is ok but if not then it is time to reseal it. Resealing regularly will prolong the life of your deck and cut down on costly repairs.
A few things you should know though, if you are going to pressure wash yourself…Excessive PSI WILL remove paint, cause lap marks or even cause damage to the underlying wood. You really don’t need more that 1500 PSI to do the job. The closer the nozzle is to the wood the more likely there is to be damage. Stand back and let the light pressure remove the dirt. Less pressure really will do the job.
After your deck is clean and possibly has had a coat of sealer or stain applied it is time to enjoy your deck. Sweep the deck regularly and make sure there is no debris getting caught in between the boards. This debris can cause breakdown of the wood. Ensure any standing water gets removed to make the most of your labour. Standing water can cause decay even in the summer so this is a good rule of thumb.
And finally, check the structure of your deck every year including the under structure. You want to be able to address any maintenance issues before they become bigger issues.
Now it is time to sit back and enjoy all the hard work! Let us know if you have any great deck tips.