Deck maintenance is crucial! If you own a property and you’re about to sell or rent it out, you need your deck to be in the best possible condition. Unfortunately, homeowners tend to place all their attention on the interior, which means the backyard gets neglected.
A deck is the centrepiece of any backyard. If you want to fetch the best sale price or get renters piling through the door, you need to make sure it’s in tip-top condition.
Here are some of the best deck maintenance tips for winter:
Think About The Surrounds
Winter brings two things – wind and rain. If your deck is surrounded by overhanging bushes and trees, you’ll have your work cut out for you trying to keep it free of debris. Stray twigs, petals and leaves don’t just make your deck look unkempt, they can also damage the wood and cause rot.
After you’ve cleared the area around the deck, make sure you use a broom and dustpan to remove all debris. Once you’ve done this, use a pressure cleaner to get rid of any moss, grime or any other sticky stuff that has settled on the deck. You can use a soap solution to get the decking extra clean, or even use a thick-bristled brush to restore its lustre.
Think About Furniture and Pot Plants
You need to be particularly careful about leaving pot plants and furniture, like sun umbrellas, on your timber decks for an extended period of time. These items hold water, and if the water sits on your deck, it will create rings of rot. If you are going to use your deck to store furniture and pot plants, make sure you move them periodically.
You can also use water-repellent rubber mats under furniture to protect against both scratching and water-related rot.
Coating Your Deck for Winter
You should treat and stain your deck every couple of years or so. The best way to tell if a treatment is required is to drip some water onto it and see if it leeches into the wood. Your deck needs to repel water and other weather, or it will decay.
You can find stains at your local hardware store. Staining your deck is about more than protecting it from wild weather, it gives you a chance to completely change its aesthetic.
If you want to change the colour of the stain:
- Use deck sealant remover to strip back the old colour
- Rinse any leftover stain
- Use tape and newspaper to seal off any areas you don’t want to stain
- Use a brush to create an even coverage, or get a stain applicator
- Work methodically, from one end of the other, making sure you leave room to exit the deck without ruining the stain
You usually need to give water-based stains about a day to dry, while oil-based stains need a couple of days. Obviously, you need to keep an eye on the weather report before you decide to stain your deck because if it rains overnight, you’ll have to start all over again.
Put a Roof On It!
A deck is impressive, but a deck with a roof over it is a real deal-sealer. By adding a roof to your deck, it becomes a space for your tenants or the new homeowners to use all year round. It will add plenty of value to your property, and a pergola can be erected in just a couple of days without much cost.
Once the roof has been added, you have the perfect setting for an alfresco dining area. If you want to install a barbecue or outdoor kitchen, make sure you choose fire-repellent materials and include adequate ventilation points.
If You Don’t Like Deck Maintenance
Composite decking is becoming a favourite material because it drastically reduces maintenance needs. It uses recycled timber and plastic products, to create a product that is resistant to mould, mildew and insect infestation. That means you’ll never have to replace rotten boards or even treat and stain the deck.
The planks come in uniform sizes, so they are quick and easy to lay. You’ll save a lot of money on labour, as well as future maintenance costs.
On top of that, it’s an eco-friendly choice. It makes use of waste products, which prevents them from ending up in landfills and contributing to the landfill problem the entire nation is currently grappling with.
Use these deck maintenance tips for winter to turn your deck into a money spinner. Like anything, a deck needs love and attention if it’s going to enjoy a long-life. Every bit of effort you put in will be rewarded by an increase in house sale prices, as well as a steady stream of tenants so you can make the most of your investment property.
Or, just go with composite decking and leave all the deck maintenance behind!
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Everlast Services Melbourne is a proudly family owned and operated fencing, landscaping and concreting business.