Warmer weather is fast approaching so its time to start thinking about how to protect your deck for summertime. Though the warmer weather may be appreciated, the sun, rain and temperature changes may negatively affect your outdoor deck. In order to be prepared for the changing of the seasons, here are some things that you should take into consideration.
April is known for its showers and while that usually means good news for gardens, water is your deck’s greatest enemy. While it is true that some woods such as redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine tend to resist rot better than most woods, the truth is that eventually, all decks may eventually show some type of water damage. If after a rainstorm you notice that the water looks as if it is soaking into the wood as opposed to beading, this is a good sign that you need to waterproof your deck. Without this protective seal, your deck is prone to rot. Even if you have already sealed your deck, remember that most decks still need to be sealed every one or two years in order to keep your deck in the best shape possible.
Different from rain, the sun can also damage your deck. The rays from the sun will not only fade your wood, making it look dingy, it will also dry it out. Dry wood means that your deck will be more susceptible to water retention which may lead to rot. If your deck seems to be faded, you can choose from a number of deck-brightening solutions; this will help return your deck to its natural color. If your deck does not seem to be faded, you can always add a deck finish that will help prevent UV rays from penetrating the wood. This will disrupt the natural chemical reactions that take place between UV light and the wood.
One additional thing to consider as we make the transition from winter to spring is the thawing out process that may take place. From heavy snow to the boards of your deck freezing over, the thawing process can take its toll on your wooden deck. The additional moisture that occurs can cause boards to expand and shift, this will often result in popped-up nails. Usually, simply pounding the nails back in will do the trick but if there has been a lot of shifting, you may need to replace the old nails with longer ones or try using deck screws, which usually tends to do the job. These are just a few things to consider as spring approaches so your deck can continue looking good as new.