A little bit of maintenance now will make your deck look great and ready for the warmer months ahead.
Give it a clean
Get rid of that winter grime and mould by giving your deck a good clean. A bucket of warm water and detergent will get rid of the dirt but use a weak bleach solution on mould. There’s a wide range of deck cleaning products that will not only clean your deck but also remove weathered timber to bring it back to its natural colour. The only equipment you should need will be a bucket, stiff broom and a hose. If you’re tempted to use a pressure washer, try it out on a part of your deck that’s not very visible. They can be a bit harsh and lift the grain of the timber, making it go “furry” which can look worse than when you started.
Make it safe
If your deck is elevated and has a balustrade around it, check that it is in good condition. Give the posts a wiggle to see if they are still solid. If they’re a bit loose, tighten the bolts holding them to the deck structure. Have a look at the handrails and balusters for any sign of rust in the nails that’s showing through the paint. If you do find any, reinforce them with a new nail or screw. Make sure you use galvanised fixings then fill and repaint the holes to protect the timber. If you’ve got a wire balustrade, check that they’re not loose and tighten the turnbuckles if they are.
Knock it down
Repeated use and the expansion and contraction of the timber in the weather makes decking nails work loose over time. Hammering them back in is the quick-fix, but the nail is sure to pop up again in the future. A better option is to pull it out and use a longer nail or better still a screw. While you’re down there, run your hands over the deck and feel for any nails that are working their way loose. If you hammer the board from underneath, the nail will come up so it can be easily replaced.
So get out now and give your deck a little TLC. Not only will it look great this season, it’ll also help make your deck looks it’s best for years to come.