3 Fall Maintenance Tips to Get Your Deck Ready for Winter

As the weather gets cooler, it's the perfect time to prepare your deck for the winter ice and snow. By performing a few simple maintenance tasks, you can prolong your deck's life and save time and money. Here are three fall maintenance tips to help you get your deck ready for the upcoming winter.

Clear Outdoor Debris

Dirt, leaves, and other debris can build up in the floorboards of your deck over time. This trapped debris can lock in moisture that can cause wood rot and further damage. Sweep your deck and then use a power washer or garden sprayer to eliminate any remaining debris. A professional deck cleaning can give you the best results.

Inspect Your Deck

Once your deck is clean, you will want to perform a fall maintenance inspection. Look for areas where moisture may have created any weak spots. If you notice any mildew, remove it immediately. Tighten any loose railings and hardware.

Seal Your Deck

Sealing and staining your deck is a fall maintenance task you don't want to ignore. Your deck should be sealed or stained once every two to three years to protect it from rain, ice, and snow. You can avoid warping or rot by making sure your deck is sealed correctly ' This can destroy the structural integrity of your deck and increase the risk of pest infiltration.

Get Help with Fall Deck Maintenance

Taking care of your deck will ensure it will stay protected throughout the harsh winter months until you are ready to use it again. If you don't have time to take care of these fall maintenance tasks, Roof-to-Deck Restoration is here to help you. Our team of professionals can assist you in cleaning, sealing, and staining your deck. Get your deck ready for winter by contacting us today to get a quote on our services.

3 Fall Maintenance Tips to Get Your Deck Ready for Winter

DIY Deck Considerations

Certainly, there are many considerations when you plan to build a deck. The first question you should ask yourself is what qualifications you must take on such a big project. Building a deck DIY is a project that could stretch on for far too long.  

You will need to consider the design. Do you want a deck or a patio? You’ll want to consider your budget, what materials you will use (hint, there are several that affect the price), where you will build it, and whether you need footings or special supports. 

The most critical consideration beyond what you will use the deck for is DIY or hire a professional.

The DIY Deck Versus Professional Build

Sure, you might have plenty of time right now with the pandemic keeping many of us at home, but what about when you must go back to work? Will the project drag on like a ball and chain draining your weekends and every free moment until you complete it? 

Do you even have the time, tools, and talent? Many of us wish we did, but the truth is closer to that birdhouse you started building two years ago and is still sitting in the garage, unfinished. 

Location Is Another Crucial Consideration

Where you will build your deck will depend on easy access from the kitchen. You will want to be able to go from the kitchen to the deck with ease rather than carrying foodstuff and beverage a long distance. Believe it; an inconvenient deck area will make you cancel some backyard BBQs. Sun and shade, wind, and privacy are all considerations to look at while planning.

Budget

Your budget will determine many of the things you need to consider such as size, materials, built-in seats, structure, and overhead cover. Regardless of how expansive you want your deck, the components you use will often determine what you can afford. 

Typically, wood is what everyone wants, whether pressure-treated, weather-resistant, or hardwood, these are often more expensive than composites, plastics, and aluminum.  

Your budget will also determine who builds your deck, you, or a professional. However, before you make that decision final, call the professionals at Roof-to-Deck for a free estimate and some professional guidance. The results will surprise you.       

Call the Roof-to-Deck Professionals to Get a Free Estimate 

We’re proud of our A+ BBB rating and our 25 years of service to the residents in the Twin City area. Our office is located at 365 Webster St. in St. Paul. So, call 952.352.9986, visit, or use the convenient online contact form to get a no-obligation, free estimate for your deck.

DIY Deck Considerations

Yearly Deck Maintenance and Repair Guide

Decks are a wonderful addition to a home. Our Minnesota winters are rough on a deck. Keeping it in good shape year-to-year assures safety and beauty for years to come while preventing larger, more costly repairs later.

Spring Deck Inspection

Visually, note any discoloration, drying wood, rotting or cracks. Check all railings, spindles, decking boards, and stair pieces. Use a screwdriver to poke at wood, looking for soft or rotted areas that may need to be replaced. Check for splintering, loose joints or connectors around the stairs.

Begin Repairs and Maintenance

Gather tools and materials for the job: goggles, kneepads, gloves, carpentry tools, sandpaper, pressure washer, decking nails, and deck stain. Doing your first step on a dry, sunny day is a good idea.

 

  • Cleaning Scrub dirt, mold, and algae with a brush or pressure washer, scraping debris from cracks. Allow drying. Restoration fluid or wash can be used and hosed off.
  • Nail pops Use a nail set and hammer to pound nails back below surfaces.
  • Sand rough surfaces Use your power sander with 88-grit paper to smooth out all surfaces, not just handrails.
  • Replace damaged or rotted wood This takes the most carpentry skills, requiring precise cutting out, measuring and fitting. Replace stair treads and repair any issues with the stringers. Make sure all new boards are properly secured and free of buckling or warping wood.
  • Re-secure all railings Make sure your railings can bear weight from every angle. Tighten all spindles.
  • Stain & seal The final step in your spring deck maintenance is staining and sealing your wood surfaces. Pressure-treated wood is still vulnerable to sun and water damage. Apply stain to all surfaces with a brush or roller, being sure to note the difference between new wood and older stained wood. Let it dry for at least 20-30 minutes and apply a second coat. Attempt to blend for color-matching. Stain must dry for 48 hours before sealing. You may elect to keep a natural color by skipping a stain, using only a clear sealant with a UV element.

 

Spring deck maintenance may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end. If you don’t have the skills, tools or time to do it yourself, consider calling Roof to Decks the leader in all your exterior home maintenance and repair. Our certified, trained professionals have served this community for over 24 years doing the highest quality work. Call us today to request a detailed quote.

 

Yearly Deck Maintenance and Repair Guide

How Best to Remove Snow and Ice from a Wood Deck

Having a wooden deck is both a pleasure and a pain. You get to enjoy the warmth of it in the summer but when winter hits, improper maintenance can make it an expensive investment. Don’t let your beautiful deck fall victim to what happens when there is lack of maintenance.

Is Snow Removal Important?

In one word: YES! If your deck has not been properly sealed, it’s especially important it gets done as soon as you are able. The melting snow and ice seep into the wood and swells. Then the sun heats it and it shrinks. After so many rounds the wood will begin to split, crack, and warp—which makes it dangerous.

How NOT to Remove Snow

First things first: don’t use a metal shovel and do not use sand. Both of these can noticeably scratch the wood. Also, stay away from salt due to its corrosive properties on hardware. Any product that has a colorant added can stain your deck, too, so it’s best to avoid them.

Things to Think About

  • You want to remove the snow and ice with as little damage to the wood as possible, so use a pressure washer or a rubber or plastic shovel.
  • If you use a shovel, scrape the snow off sideways instead of lengthwise. You can catch the shovel on a corner easier going the length of the board instead of the width.

Leave It to the Experts

At Roof To Deck Restoration, our experts take pride in knowing exactly how to get the best life out of your deck. We know how to prevent damage and just what to do if damage has already occurred. Don’t let one of your investments fall into disrepair due to lack of maintenance. Call us at 877-687-3639 or click here for a free quote.

How Best to Remove Snow and Ice from a Wood Deck

Composite Decking: Too Good to Be True?

Composite is often publicized as the decking material that will eventually replace the use of wood altogether. These bold claims largely rest on the fact that composite decking typically lasts longer and doesn’t suffer from rot. However, there are a number of downsides associated with composite decking homeowners should be aware of before settling on this material.

Appearance

Wood is natural which, obviously, reflects the way it looks. Composite decking, on the other hand, can appear cheap and fake. Although composite is not technically prone to rot, it will begin to show clear signs of decay and aging, which can make it dull and unappealing. While you can purchase composite decking with a wood effect, it’s just not the same as the real thing.

Durability and Safety

Composite decking is known to sag and bend much more than most wood type materials. The composite may not fare well under weight or heavy traffic, resulting in decking that quickly becomes unattractive. Perhaps most concerning of all, many composite decking brands are slippery by design. Add this non-resistance to mold and mildew, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.

Benefits of Wood

There are benefits when purchasing high-quality composite decking, as previously discussed. However, the same applies to options for wood decking. Wood decking is designed to last from 10-15 years; whereas some composite decking brands claim their product can last as long as 30 years. Homeowners who don’t mind paying a little extra for the real look and feel of wood will enjoy their decking much longer with regular maintenance, too.

If you prefer natural decking, trust in wood. At Roof to Deck Restoration we can provide maintenance that will seal and protect your wood decking against weather, dirt, moisture, furniture, and everyday traffic. Call us at 651-699-3504 today to find out how and receive a quote.

Composite Decking: Too Good to Be True?

Your Deck in 2017

Whether you already have a deck on your home or you are looking to build one, 2017 is offering some wonderful new trends to the tried and true decks of the past fifty years. With the advancements in technology, woodworking, and architectural projects are no longer limited to straight lines and wood colors. Some of these trends are bold and never been done before while others are new takes on older ideas. One thing is certain that your deck is not your grandparent's deck anymore.

New Design Ideas

There are a plethora of new design ideas for building a deck in 2017. One large area of change is the increase of bended wood. Circles are very trendy in all home decorating areas. People are enjoying the look of circles inside their home through paintings, windows, and artwork. It would only make sense that this trend extends to the new deck as well. Another area that is changing quickly is the material with which a deck is being built. While wood is still preferred for many decks, it does not always hold up to the elements Therefore, many people are opting for a new material that can withstand harsh winters, rainy seasons, and extreme conditions while still look beautiful. Some are even choosing to put their deck on their roof to maximize space and build a deck that will outlast the season.

Finally, when building or restoring an older deck, people are turning to virtual design to see their vision before the world is even started. This allows clients to work on the project without beginning the expansive physical labor that building a deck requires.

The Trend in Restoration

Or those that love their deck, but need a little change, there is a new trend to notice: gray stains. Gray is more than just one color as well. There are eight different shades of gray from which to choose. Gray has become very popular with homeowners and business owners alike when it comes to deck color options People feel it adds something that may have been missing in the past. Furthermore, it helps your deck stand out from the sea of wood colored decks that are often seen in every neighborhood, giving your deck a life of its own.

Your deck is an extension of your house that you can update and change however you see fit. No matter how you update or change your deck (whether you choose to add a kitchen to it, lighting, or build it from scratch) the key is to keep it well maintained. While using more durable materials or staining a different color may be helpful, in the long run, thorough cleanings and restaining are necessary to help keep your deck always fresh, clean, and provide longevity. If you have a deck and require restoration or a thorough cleaning, call the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at 952.352.9986. Their deck restoration experts are happy to help answer your questions and guide you toward the perfect outcome for your home and personality.

Your Deck in 2017

Your Fence Cannot Be Forgotten

Your home is more than just the house you occupy. It is every addition to your property, including your yard, shed, and even your fence. Your fence is designed to not only keep things in, but to keep things out as well. A well-constructed, well-maintained fence can help keep rodents, stray animals, and unwanted individuals off of your property, protecting your home and your personal property. Therefore, when you are taking the time to freshen up your home, do not forget your hard-working fence in the process. 

What Can Happen to Your Forgotten Fence?

As mentioned above, your fence is the border of your property that is meant to protect your property from both things getting out and things getting in. A wooden fence, in particular, is subject to many issues is left forgotten, allowing things to easily get in and out of your home. Boards may begin to deteriorate, causing holes in the fence. IF too many boards deteriorate, the entire infrastructure of your fence is compromised.

Furthermore, a forgotten fence is, well, ugly. It can decrease property values, making you and your home less desirable to the neighborhood. It will begin to add to the decrease in property values throughout your entire neighborhood, which leaves you very unpopular with the neighbors. You may even be strongly advised to either get rid of the fence or fix it, if you wish to keep it up.

How to Maintain Your Fence

The first step to maintaining your fence is to make sure you clean it every spring, at the very least. Just like you make it a point to clean your home's exterior after every winter, it is essential to clean your fence after every winter. This type of cleaning is not the standard of washing it down with a garden hose, which can actually do more harm than good. This is referring to pressure washing your fence. When a professional comes to your home to pressure wash your wooden fence, he or she will also take note of any problem areas they find in the wood. If the wood is well maintained with no problem areas, then you can move onto the next season with ease. However, if the boards are beginning to deteriorate or missing altogether, the professional cleaner should be able to make the appropriate repairs to help your fence look like new!

Once this stage is complete, you must make sure the fence does not need to be restained, to keep it looking fresh and clean.  Every few years, any wood would need a fresh coat of stain to keep it looking pristine. If your fence has hit this stage in its lifecycle, then once it has been properly cleaned, it may be a good idea to stain it and freshen it up.

If your home has a wooden fence and it needs maintenance, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at 952.352.9986 today. Our experts can help you make sure your wooden fence is always well maintained and keeping the proper items in and out of your home.

Your Fence Cannot Be Forgotten

Deck Staining Options

It’s spring, which means it is time to enjoy your backyard. You wait all winter to throw your first barbeque and outdoor gathering, inviting friends, family, and acquaintances. When you step outside to survey the land, you notice your deck looks faded and old. This is not the impression you wish to leave on your guests for their first visit to your home for the season. As you look at your deck, you notice that you do not like the original stain and want to know your options.

Your Wood

When choosing your deck stain, first, look at the type of wood from which your deck is made. If your deck is using a richer looking wood, such as redwood, you may wish to use a stain that brings out its natural luster. However, if your deck is using a standard lumber, you may find a more colorful option would be more conducive to the look you are trying to achieve. You will also need to review how your wood will react to the stain you choose to make sure the color you buy and the color you want is the color you will get.

Natural or Exotic

Now that you have determined the type of wood you have, you must determine the best way to stain it. Do you want a natural look or a more exotic feel? Deck staining can be a creative process, as many color options are available. It is not quite as colorful as painting the walls inside your home, but you can choose from several transparent looks that bring out the natural beauty of your wood, or more vibrant colors, like vintage styles, blues, and oranges. You may even choose to mix and match colors to create a design, like the American Flag or a beautiful redbird. The colors will be more natural than paint colors, however, the look can still be quite personal. Roof to Deck Restoration offers four natural stain colors: honey, brown, cedar and redwood. If you are interested in the natural look for your deck or other outdoor wood areas and aren’t sure which one to choose, Roof to Deck can offer their expert insight as to which stain will look best on your wood. The key is to remember that your deck will be a high traffic area during the summer months, but it is still a place to express your style and show off your home. It is always recommended that you keep it classy while still choosing to be creative or keeping a natural wood finish.

The first rule of thumb when choosing to restain your deck is to make sure the wood is stable and does not need replacing. Powerwash your deck to remove the dirt and grime that has built up over the winter months before beginning the project. As you inspect the wood itself, make sure to replace the pieces that are warped or rotting with the same type of wood as already incorporated within your deck. Finally, this project, while it can be DIY, should be left to the experts to ensure nothing is missed and no accidents occur. When you are ready to restore your deck to enjoy for years to come, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at 651-699-3504. They will be honored to come out, review your deck, and provide you with a fair estimate.

Deck Staining Options

The Best Wood to Build Your Deck

Whether you want to replace your deck or build a new one, there is a lot of factors to consider. First, you need to check the structure of your home and lawn to ensure your property can support a deck. Then, you need to design the deck to make sure it adds to your property. You do not want to overshadow or detract from it. Finally, you need to choose a wood and stain for your deck. While the color of stain you choose can be a matter of personal taste, your choice of wood should be based on tested data to select the best type of wood for your area, climate, and use.

Your Choices

There are numerous types of wood that can be used to build your deck. However, most people will recommend three types of wood as your best options. These are cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated lumber. Each have their pros and cons, which must be analyzed carefully to help you decide the best type of wood for your project and your budget.

Pros and Cons

Cedar is often the first wood most people think of when building their deck. It is a soft wood that is naturally rot- and insect-resistant. However, due to its softness, it can often splinter easily. Furthermore, the best cuts of cedar come from trees that are 100 to 250 years old.

Redwood is beautiful and extremely stable. However, redwood is becoming more and more rare, as it only grows on the West Coast, mostly in California. As you travel east, the cost becomes much higher. In addition, redwood requires you to constantly reapply sealer over the years to maintain its luster and durability.

Finally, pressure-treated lumber is the cheapest of the three woods, and it is insect- and rot-repellant as well. It is easy to obtain and is often the most common wood used by deck builders. However, it is more unstable. This type of wood often twists, shrinks, and warps. You can opt to purchase a higher grade of lumber that will not encounter as many problems. However, in those instances the price becomes steeper.

No matter the type of wood you choose, your deck will require annual maintenance. After a Minnesota winter, your deck will require pressure washing – at the very least – to wash away the winter grime and restore its beauty. After several years of wear and weathering, your deck may require restaining and other types of treatment. You have two options: rebuild a deck every five years or properly maintain your deck to ensure it lasts a lifetime. When you are in need of deck restoration or basic annual maintenance to help preserve your deck for years to come, contact the experts at Roof to Deck Restoration at (651) 699-3504. Their restoration experts are happy to answer your questions and make sure you can enjoy your deck for many years to come.

The Best Wood to Build Your Deck

The Beauty of Cedar Roofs

Cedar roofing is among the most beautiful roofing available on the market, if properly treated and maintained. A beautiful cedar shake or shingle roof on your home can be seen from miles away. Cedar roofing has been used on home for centuries.  Cedar roofing has both a high insulation value as well as being long lasting if cared for properly.  Like all outdoor wood, cedar roofs will need to be maintained and cared for to extend its life.

Durability

Properly maintained cedar roofs can last for up to thirty years. However, if left unclean and unfinished and not maintained, the roof risks warping, cupping, cracking, splintering, rotting and other issues that result from weather and algae damage. Therefore, it is important to have your roof sealed and treated against moss and algae soon after the wood shake is installed. Therefore, once your roof is installed, it must be properly sealed to protect it from the elements the seasons can bring. If properly sealed and maintained, your roof will remain beautiful and secure longer than expected.  However, if left untreated and poorly maintained, the elements will get the best of your roof.

Maintenance

Because wood is unprotected the moment it is removed from the tree, it is important to seal the wood to ensure it is not weathered and does not damage quickly or easily. Once you have installed your roof, it is important to select a finish that will not only provide the added benefit of beauty, but also protect your cedar shake roof from moss and algae.

To maintain your roof, protect it from weathering, damage, algae, and moss, it is important to perform a roof inspection annually and clean it accordingly. This means making sure to clean off any leaves and twigs that have fallen on your roof. The steps that should be taken to maintaining your roof and keeping it beautiful are simple. First, apply a proper cleaning solution that will loosen and lift the moss, algae, and dirt from the roof. Then, power wash with low pressure to remove the now loosened elements.  Third, neutralize the roof with oxalic acid to get the Ph. level to a base of 7.  Then your cedar shake roof must dry to a moisture content of fewer than 12%.  This is also when missing shakes and shingles are replaced.  Then seal/stain your cedar shake roof with a preservative to protect it from the elements and to prevent moss and algae.

Beauty

The beauty of a cedar roof is in the wood, first and foremost. That being said, it begins with the quality of the wood.  When choosing to apply a cedar roof, make sure you are utilizing a high quality wood that is thick and well treated. Remember, this is the roof to your home, and the more time and effort you put into the quality of your roof, the less time and money you will have to put into repairing water and wind damage to your home. Beyond durability, however, the high quality will add to the beauty of your roof, raising your property value and overall aesthetic appeal.

To learn more about cedar roofing and its maintenance, contact the experts at Roof to Deck at 651-699-3504.

The Beauty of Cedar Roofs
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