Installing decks and patios in your home is no big deal. Taking care of them is what will ensure their longevity. The nature and amount of care that you need to devote to your patio and deck will depend on the seasons. Here is a seasonal guide to help you maintain your deck and patio in pristine condition.
Fall Patio and Deck Care
Cleaning your patio and deck in fall is a good idea. It will get rid of unnecessary dust. If you haven’t safeguarded them in spring time, this is the perfect time to clean your patio and seal your deck. Start out by washing the area and drying it out thoroughly. Choose a day when the weather is mild or moderate.
You can also perform the following actions:
- Avoid accumulating leaves and waste in the corners of your house.
- Take measures to reduce moss, mold and rot.
- Trees need to be about 12 inches away from your patio or deck. Trim bushes and shrubs properly and at regular intervals so that they don’t encroach onto the area.
- Clogging of downspouts and gutters is a common phenomenon. Repair and fix broken storm drains and make sure you remove twigs and dead leaves to facilitate free flow of rainwater.
- Shift plants and outdoor furniture in different areas. Keep the furniture in a shaded place to prevent it from discoloration.
Spring Time Clean Up
Spring is the liveliest season of the year. Enjoying the great outdoors by lounging and having a good time with friends and family adds to the cheer of spring. This is also the time to check the boards of your deck and patio for mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew can cause the wood to rot.
Use a putty knife to scrap the patio stones and deck boards. Later sweep the area and then clean it with an appropriate cleaner. The cleaner will depend on the materials of the patio and deck.
- Composite: Use a commercial detergent and degreaser to tackle oil and grease stains.
- Vinyl: Use mild soap and lukewarm water to remove dirt, mold and mildew from vinyl patios and decks.
- Wood: Wood floorboards and panels require especially formulated wood cleaner. Read the instructions on the cleaner carefully before using it.
Seal the deck after cleaning it. You can use one of the following options for sealing the deck:
- The damage due to temperature and climatic fluctuations can wreak havoc with the sealing and wood grain. You can reverse this with a solid stain and opaque color.
- A toner will protect your deck from sunlight. It adds a pop of color and also reveals the grain completely.
- If you want to tint the wood while getting the grain to show a little bit, using semi transparent stain.
- Using a clear sealer will bring out the color and grain of the wood.
You can use power washing to clean the surface of your patio thoroughly. A bleach solution can get rid of stubborn stains while a gentle household cleaner will suffice for other stains.
Tender Love and Care for Winter
Winter is the time to snuggle up indoors. This is also the time when you should prepare your patio and deck to weather the falling temperatures. Get your outdoor furniture out of the cold and into your garage. Cover it with a dust sheet. If you don’t have a garage to store the furniture, use waterproof sheets to properly cover the furniture.
You cannot do much for the patio and deck during winter time. Just make sure you bring the plants indoor and clear out storm drains so that stagnant water does not seep onto the patio or deck.
Detection and Fixing in Summer
Summer is the perfect time to thoroughly inspect the deck and patio. Pay special attention to corners or areas near water sources and six inches off the ground.
- Signs of Rot: Examining the steps (if any) is the first thing you should undertake. Then shift to the perimeter posts to look for telltale signs of rot.
- Grout Checking: If the grout in your stonework on the patio has loosened up or is on the verge of falling out, get a professional to fix it.
- Inspect the Underside: Do so using a flashlight underneath your deck. Pay attention to joist hangers and hardware. If rusted then you need to replace them.
Overtime you may have developed an unconditional love with your outdoor living space. It is your job to keep it in the best possible condition. Decks and patios are always susceptible to the ravages of changing weather patterns. Proper care and maintenance is the need of the hour. Always invest some time and energy and you will never have to worry about your patio and deck. It will keep them strong, beautiful and sturdy for years to come.