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.