Top 5 Tips for Fall Decking Maintenance
Prime decking season is coming to a close, but you can still get plenty of use out of your deck during the fall. Whether or not you plan to make the most out of your outdoor space despite the drop in temperatures, you want your deck to withstand autumn conditions. Now is not the time to neglect your deck, as autumn rain, pests, wind, debris, and cold air can wreak havoc on it. Here are five important tips for taking care of your deck this fall, no matter what your specific plans may be.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Landscaping
The first decking maintenance tip we’ll cover isn’t directly about your deck at all, but rather the areas surrounding it. After all, the moisture, pests, and debris that threaten your deck don’t come from nowhere -- they come from the soil, trees, grass, and other plant life nearby. If you let your lawn run wild, it will eventually encroach on your deck in negative ways. Overgrown grass underneath your deck, for instance, can send moisture upwards into your deck and provide a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and rot. Likewise, large trees will send loads of leaves toward your deck, which can weigh it down, stain its surfaces, and likewise contribute to fungal growth and rot. By caring for your landscape all autumn long, you in turn care for your deck.
2. Sweep Your Deck Regularly
Those aforementioned falling leaves are nothing to scoff at if you want to keep your deck in great shape this season. Unless your deck is covered with a roof or awning, you’ll likely encounter freshly fallen leaves on your deck’s flooring each and every day. While a few leaves here and there won’t do any damage, an accumulation of leaves can become problematic. As most of us know from experience, clearing a small number of leaves isn’t much of a buren compared to raking large, heavy piles. Therefore, it’s best for both you and your deck to consistently sweep leaves off its surfaces to prevent large buildups.
3. Power Wash Your Deck at Least Once During the Season
In most cases, it’s recommended that homeowners power wash their property’s exterior twice a year, about six months apart (usually in the beginning of spring and fall). Your deck should be included in this twice yearly power washing ritual. Cleaning your deck this way in early fall is a great way to blast away summer grime and also an important requisite step for applying any coatings (which we’ll discuss next). If you decide to power wash your deck this autumn, make sure you employ the proper tools and techniques or hire professionals, otherwise you risk damaging its surfaces.
4. Seal or Stain Your Deck
No matter how vigilant you are about sweeping and cleaning your deck, it will remain vulnerable to the elements unless properly sealed with sealer or stain. Most sealers and stains last about 2-3 years, so if you applied deck stain fairly recently, your deck might not require fresh coatings just yet. However, even the best deck stain wears down over time. If your current stain is peeling away and no longer providing the necessary levels of protection for your deck, late summer/early fall is a great time to tackle this project. A well-sealed deck will endure harsh conditions during fall and winter alike.
5. Inspect Your Deck Periodically for Repairs
Lastly, closely examine your entire deck at least once or twice during the fall for any issues such as mold/mildew growth, rot, loose fasteners, warped boards, cracks, holes, etc. It’s important to resolve these problems shortly after you spot them to prevent them from growing into deeper issues. You don’t want to wait until winter to invest in carpentry work and other deck repairs, so get it done well before then if possible.
Don’t Fall Behind on Deck Maintenance
Even if you don’t get much use out of your deck during the fall, it deserves your ongoing attention. Your deck is part of your home, after all, and it’s also one of the most susceptible to environmental damage. At Anderson Painting, we work year-round to protect and enhance your property, including your decking.
To learn more about us and all we can do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at email@example.com!