Three Ways to Make Sure You’re Ready for a Deck Party

Gutters des moines iowa

Imagine your next deck party. It?s a sultry summer night, but with a little breeze everyone?s in a great mood. The BBQ is so good you might just run out if people keep eating like this, and the playlist is so awesome people are starting to dance. Your party is the talk of the neighborhood for years to come, and everyone angles to get an invite for next year.

It?s a great picture: but is your deck ready to handle all this? Will you come through the fall and winter with a deck damaged by weather and wet? Will your deck covering handle the snow and rain? What about mold problems that might ruin the deck materials?

And think what could happen with bad gutters. Every gallon of rain water that falls weighs eight pounds, and a clogged gutter could be holding up thousands of pounds of weight. If the gutters leak, or a gutter fell off, that could damage deck materials and make the deck unsafe just when you most want to use it.


If any of that sounds like your deck, the best-case scenario is that you just keep putting off that party, or any use of the deck, out of worry about the condition of the
deck materials or because it just looks so ugly and uninviting. The worse-case scenario is there?s so much damage to your deck that it collapses and people get hurt. So what can you do to keep or make your deck ready for use?

Inspect, Inspect, and Inspect Again

Look everywhere for rot, mildew, or structural damage. This is especially true if your deck was made with untreated wood. Most of the rot takes place where it?s hard to see, so get under the deck. Also be sure to check where the deck meets the stairs and connects to the house.

Rot that?s less than 1/2 inch can probably be left for another season. Anything deeper than that needs to be replaced. Make sure you get deck materials that will resist rot in the future. You want treated wood that resists mildew and UV rays.

Wash, Wash, and Wash Again

Ok, so you don?t have to wash every day. But you should keep your deck materials in good shape by washing a couple times a year.

First, clear off the loose gunk with a leaf blower or a broom. Then, apply a good deck cleaner–one the removes mildew and dirt–using a stiff brush. Rinse it regularly as you go, scrubbing in line with the wood grain.

If you have a huge deck, you can rent a power washer that will do this for you with a lot less effort. Just be sure not to let the spray from the power wash linger too long on any one spot, as prolonged pressure of that sort can damage the deck materials.

Restore, Finish? and You?re Done For a Long While

Commercial restoration product helps make grey, aged wood look beautiful again. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothes and get some eye protection. Use a soft brush and go over the deck one board at a time. Let it dry, rinse it, and then let it dry again.

When it?s all been restored and dried, seal it with a commercial sealant. This should have paraffin or oil to seal up the deck materials and keep rain and moisture from penetrating. It should also have UV blockers to resist the sun?s destructive rays. If you know you have termites or other bugs that might eat wood, some sealants also include insecticides.

If you restore and finish the deck well, your regular inspections and cleanings will be enough to keep it in great shape for years to come. It should resist any mold problems and rain damage won?t be as much of an issue.

Just don?t forget to keep your gutters in good shape, too!

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