Late summer and early fall in the Tennessee Valley provides ideal weather to enjoy the porch or deck at home. Like your home’s interior, you should keep your exterior clean and in good shape for optimal comfort. To help you enjoy your outdoor living space, here are some tips for porch or deck maintenance.
Sweep your deck and remove debris trapped in between your deck boards. A simple spray of water with a garden hose can remove dirt. Bleach will discolor your deck and wire brush can damage wood.
To remove mold and mildew, purchase a deck cleaning solution. Some cleaners can be harmful to plants, so make sure they’re removed or covered before applying a solution.
Wear and tear from weather can damage your porch. Conduct a visual inspection for loose boards and nails. Small issues can be repaired by removing, flipping and refastening the boards. Splinters in wood can be sanded down.
If you see rotting wood under the boards, you might need to consult a professional for repairs. If your boards are cracked, it’s a sign that they need to be stained. If boards on your deck are split, you’ll need to completely replace the damaged board.
Once your deck is cleaned and repaired, you might want to consider adding a stain for a refreshed look. It’s time for a new stain if your deck doesn’t repel water easily. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for any stain or seal you apply.
Drying time depends on the temperature and humidity level. Avoid applying any product to your deck or porch in the direct sun, which will dry the finish too quickly.
New patio or deck décor can liven up any outdoor space. Avoid selecting natural fibers such as jute or bamboo. This type of material absorbs moisture and could lead to mildew on your deck or porch. Add rugs and mats made of recycled plastics to maximize longevity and avoid mildew.
Select furniture constructed with materials designed to withstand the elements, such as cedar or teak, which are also resistant to insect damage. Metallic furniture made from iron, especially with rust-resistant coating, is another durable option.
You can top off any style of furniture with pillows and cushions made of synthetic fibers, which can starve off mildew and harmful UV-rays from the sun.
To find decking and outdoor professionals in the Tri-state area, visit the online directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net.