If your deck looks a bit worse for the wear and the life seems to be zapped out of it, you can give it a makeover with some smart improvements. Homeowners love their outdoor spaces, when the weather permits. Regardless of where you live in the country, chances are excellent your deck takes a beating year in and year out. Even though it might be built of sturdy materials, designed to withstand the elements, that doesn’t make it impervious. Over time, said elements will exact a toll, starting with minor but noticeable signs of wear and expanding into unavoidable, unsightly, problems.
The good news is, that in the majority of cases, unless the damage is extreme, the structure can be saved. It might not be one-hundred percent salvageable, but, you’ll have quite a bit to work with to rebuild. If your deck looks worn but the structure is intact and not compromised, you can elect to refurbish your deck to save money. This will allow you to keep the current configuration, while giving it some long lasting protection to keep it looking great for many years to come.
How to Clean a Wood Deck
The truth of the matter is, if your deck is built of actual wood, it will need attention from time to time. To cut down on replacing parts, you ought to clean it about once a quarter to six months. Do this with plain soap and water, using a broom to brush it clean. This will significantly extend its longevity, and, will also reduce the amount of work to refurbish it periodically. The best time to clean your deck is during the spring, when pollen is at its peak. Doing so will reduce the amount of food sources for mildew to grow.
Outside decks are great additions to any home, whether they are in the back yard or set up like a veranda. However, there are always a few things you can do to improve your deck, in regards to both safety and overall aesthetics. As well as enhancing your railing, you can also set up screening, provide safe passage, include a small garden, have built-in seating and use the surrounding nature as design elements. —Houzz.com
When you do clean your deck, take the time to do it right. First, clear it off completely, leaving nothing behind. Next, inspect every square inch of the structure to identify any problem areas. You might discover a bit of rot in a corner, or, find pests camping underneath. When you’re ready to clean it, use a commercial cleaner appropriate for the materials. Once clean and dry, then apply stain-sealant to give it added protection. It ought to look new when you’re finished.
Ways to Improve Your Deck
After you’ve revived your worn deck, you might take it a step further and make a few improvements to add more flare and function to your outdoor living space. Here are a few ways to improve your deck:
- Replace the furniture. This is a quick and easy way to completely remake the space inexpensively and smartly. You’ll be able to change the style, color, and seating arrangement, just enough to completely transform it into something else. For a bit more function and style, choose a table with an over-sized umbrella for shade.
- Hang a swing. Hanging a swing not only provides a nice aesthetic touch, it also gives the space more function, and fun. A swing is a great place to sit and unwind, gaze out into the evening sky, and have a conversation.
- Put in a planter. This is a feature you might not have considered, but it’s actually a great way to add more visual appeal while providing a subtle dividing line. By building a planter from the same wood material, or, even choosing something that complements yet provides a bit of contrast, you’ll have a dedicated section for a dining area, lounge seating, or whatever you’d like.
- Add a built-in bench. If there’s one thing that’s true about most decks, it’s that only a portion of all available space is utilized. Add a built-in bench to the rail and provide more seating, along with a more stylish look.
- Install an awning. No, not one of those retractable things, but something that provides shade. It could even be a vine-wrapped pergola. Something that offers a little escape from the sun and has a wow factor.
For the really adventurous gourmet, a new outdoor kitchen is a great deck improvement feature. It doesn’t necessarily have to extravagant, just offer the basics of what you need — a grill, landing and work area, and, serving area. Before you start this improvement, it’s best to be in-the-know about prevailing wind conditions, have plenty of light for the evenings, and be situated where it’s convenient to get in and out of the house.