Spring is in the air!
The ground is finally starting to thaw, birds are chirping, and the leaves are finally going to start popping on the trees.
After a long, cold, stuffy winter, we'll finally be able to walk outside without the air hurting us.
And with Spring here already, that means summer is right around the corner.
And with summer comes BBQ's, pool parties, and time spent out on the deck.
Even though you're ready for some rest and relaxation outside on your deck, is your deck ready for you?
The winter wasn't just hard on you; it was hard on your deck as well.
Before you light up the grill or throw on your swimming trunks, there are things you need to do to get your deck ready for another summer.
We'll talk about a few of them below.
Give Your Deck A Thorough Inspection
As soon as the snow of winter melts and the rains of spring dry up, it's time to give your deck an inspection.
One of the biggest issues to look out for during the inspection is deck rot.
If deck rot isn't caught and fixed soon enough, it can compromise the entire structure of your deck.
Deck rot is typically caused by moisture, and the first sign of rot is discoloration and then wood that cracks or is soft to the touch.
Another issue is mildew and mold, which is also caused by moisture.
Although it's less severe than deck rot, mold and mildew are very unsightly for homeowners and their guests.
Luckily this is easily treated with cleaning solutions you can buy at the local hardware or big box store.
And finally, you should check for broken boards.
Broken boards are a structural hazard and can be very dangerous to you, your family, and your guests.
Broken boards are easily replaced with a little bit of know how.
Clean Your Deck
Once the inspection is done, it's time to clean.
The best thing you can do to get your deck ready for the grueling summer months is to give it a good power washing.
To get it as clean as possible, remove all furniture and rugs prior to power washing to start with a clean slate.
Once everything is removed, sweep away all the loose debris that has built up over the winter.
While you're power washing your deck, it's also a good idea to power wash your house so you can check both things off of the list.
Be sure to keep your power washer on a low-pressure setting to avoid doing any damage to your deck or home.
Power washing is the best way to get your deck looking fresh and new again for the summer.
If you don't want to power wash, or don't have access to a power washer, you can do it the old fashioned way with some water and a lot of elbow grease.
Mix some apple cider vinegar with water to clean your deck and remove the lighter stains.
This will clean your deck without the risk of damage, but it won't get it nearly as clean as a pressure washer would.
Repaint Or Add Color
Sometimes power washing your deck washes away any paint that has started peeling off the railings.
You should touch up any paint that has chipped away, and it's not a bad idea to give all of the railings a fresh coat of paint.
Start by sanding the railings and then use an exterior paint to add the fresh coat.
If you're bored with your old colors, or you're just looking for a new look, you can change the color of the railing.
If you're feeling really creative, you can even paint the deck itself.
A good way to add interest to your deck and make it pop is to paint a diamond pattern on it.
Tape off the deck in the pattern you want, and then paint it in two contrasting colors to achieve the full effect.
Once you return your deck furniture, give them a quick inspection to make sure they don't need any touch-ups as well.
Decorate Your Deck
Once the bulk of the tedious maintenance work is done, you can start decorating.
There's no use in having a clean and well-maintained deck if it isn't comfortable and visually appealing, making people want to spend time on it.
If you haven't done so already, invest in comfortable outdoor furniture.
Outside of keeping it well maintained, having comfortable furniture is maybe the most important thing you can do for your deck.
A table and some chairs and comfortable outdoor couches will turn your bland deck into an outdoor oasis.
Proper lighting is also essential.
String lights are trendy and add a nice touch to anyone's deck.
If your deck is elevated, look into stair lighting as well.
And to cap it all off, flowers in small containers are a great way to add to your deck décor.
Plan The Party
The best way to make sure you get your deck prepared for summertime is to plan a party.
Whether it's a pool party, BBQ, or just a social gathering, make sure your deck is a focal point.
We have a habit of putting things like this off, and telling ourselves we'll do it next weekend, so setting a date for a party gives us the incentive to get it done.
It's also the perfect way to ring in the summertime with your family and closest friends.
Make sure the deck is clean, the furniture is comfortable, and the lighting is in place.
Then you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the start of summer the right way.
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