Preparing Your Deck for Summer

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Spring is finally here and we’re all thinking about lazy summer days and nights spent on our decks. At RDS, we love it when we see a deck being built, knowing what fun it will provide the family. Grilling out, sitting, reading, watching the birds, and enjoying time with family and friends, all happen on a deck. But is your deck ready for everything that will happen on it this spring, summer, and fall? As your residential designers, we’ve done the research to help you get your deck in party shape!

Structural Integrity:

A quick look at your deck, no matter the age, isn’t enough. Get under the deck and inspect the posts and beams that hold up your deck. Any chunks of wood missing? Touch the columns to make sure they aren’t soft, spongy, or showing signs of rot. Even pressure-treated wood can show signs of rot, especially in areas where it touches the ground and areas where non-rated pressure-treated wood might have been used. Don’t forget to check all railings to be sure they are still secure. Anything amiss? Call a contractor or handyman and get these problems fixed. Rain, snow, and ice can do a number on decks, especially older ones or decks that haven’t been treated, so do your due diligence to keep the deck structurally sound. 

Dazzling Decks:

The structure is sound, so now it’s time to make your deck dazzle. Clear everything off of the deck so you can see all of it. Search for boards or nails that have come loose and replace as needed. All wood decks will have this issue over time. 

Now comes the next step – cleaning. If your deck is a composite deck, cleaning is a breeze. Scrub it with a soap and water solution and removed any mildew or dirt that built up over the past year. Rinse it well, dry it and let the decorating begin.

A couple more steps are required for those of us that have a wood deck. Clean and dry the boards, maybe with the help of a pressure washer. Just don’t spray with too much pressure or you’ll take off the paint or damage the wood. 

If your paint is peeling or the stain has faded, scrape off the loose paint, sand it, prime it, and repaint. Have fun with the color! You could even paint patterns or use a different color as a border. Staining might be an option for you. It allows the grain to show through and doesn’t wear as quickly as paint does. Follow the application and care process no matter which application you choose to create your best summer deck.

Add the Accents:

Now the fun begins! How do you use your deck? Do you have shady and sunny areas for you and your guests? What mood do you want to set? 

There are many options available for you to create the best looking, comfortable, entertaining space you could imagine.  This is the place for bold pops of color, fun, colorful outdoor rugs, sail shades, umbrellas, or a pergola, and a variety of furniture – think about a big table, some low tables, comfy chairs, loungers, and seating that is perfect for kids. 

Create different seating areas that serve different purposes. Do you want a safe fire pit area? A gathering area perfect for conversations? An outdoor kitchen and bar? An eating area? A spot for the kids to gather and play?  Your own personal retreat?

And don’t forget planters filled with a variety of plants. Create a privacy wall with tall plants, add pops of color with colorful annuals, and plant herbs for delicious summer meals. You might want to plant lavender, marigolds, citronella grass, rosemary, or peppermint to keep those pesky mosquitos away. Use plants like asters, bee balm, butterfly bush, cosmos, and lantana to draw butterflies to your yard. 

Whatever you desire, you can create it on your deck!

Did you see our Front Porch Friday Video? Click here Preparing Your Desk for Summer to view it. Have a fantastic summer on your deck!