Regular maintenance is crucial to keep decks, porches, and other outdoor structures functional and looking great. We still have plenty of warm, pleasant days heading into fall, so now is a good time to do the necessary maintenance before winter sets in. Freshen up these important outdoor living spaces using these 3 steps:
Safety first! Keep your family and guests safe by inspecting the structure from top to bottom. Be on the lookout for loose nails, screws, and boards, damaged or rotting wood, debris, and other potential hazards and issues. Take care to check stairs, posts, and railings as well. Repair areas that need attention. Regular inspection will save money in the long run, preventing more costly repairs and maintenance. You’ll find more great tips and advice at the Paint Source blog, their YouTube Channel, or at This Old House.
Clean it Up!
Cleaning the deck surface is another important step, as it removes debris, mildew, and stains and can also reveal areas in need of repair. In addition, it allows for proper application of wood stains and sealers, which extends the life of your deck, porch, pergola, shed, or gazebo. Clean the surface by hand or by using a pressure washer. Either method works well, but pressure washing can be one of the more efficient and thorough methods.
Visit This Old House for more cleaning info and tips, and keep in mind that we rent pressure washing equipment. Wood or composite decking – we carry the necessary cleaning products too, and can help you choose which is best.
Select & Apply the Finish
New, old, or somewhere in between, this final step will beautify and extend the life of your deck or porch. The right product adds an extra layer of protection to preserve, refresh, and transform with finishes that range from clear and semi solid to solid colors. Choose from among the many transparent or translucent options available to allow a natural wood look. Semi solids are a good option if you prefer more color. Solid finishes are great choices, too, if you prefer darker hues or wish to make a bold statement.
During the selection process, it’s also wise to consider deck/porch/other structure type, location, exposure to sunlight, etc. For example, if the surface is covered, at ground level, or close to water, you want to choose the product that best suits these conditions. For more specifics, check out these tips on selecting and applying the right products at The Paint Source Network site. Or stop by our store for advice; we’ll help you find the best options for the job.
There are many great products available in colors that will complement your home’s exterior and outdoor decor. Our inventory includes Zar Exterior Finishes and Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Waterborne exterior stains. Another of our favorites is One Time stain, which preserves and protects. NuDeck, a mildew resistant, non slip restorative coating brings new life to older wood. Deck Pro by Richard’s is formulated to suit old and new wood, providing top-notch protection from the elements while refreshing the surface. Storm System is another great choice, as they specialize in weather protection formulas. Their website offers a handy graphic of finishes too, helping make the product selection process easier to visualize.
Not sure where to begin with application? There are many resources available, like Benjamin Moore’s how-to advice on product choice, prep, and staining. Check out One Time’s General Prep and Finish Videos or DIY’s Deck Maintenance Video, too. Don’t forget, we can help you select the right products for those outdoor wood surfaces, and share advice on proper application.
A little time, money, and effort go a long way to keep your deck and other outdoor wood structures in great shape. Regular maintenance will help keep your family safe, prevent costly repairs or replacement, and provide a great outdoor living space you’ll enjoy for years to come.