Handy Deck Maintenance Checklist for Every Season
Keeping your deck well maintained in every season is essential to your family’s safety. By doing a brief inspection and performing some simple upkeep, you’ll have a sturdy, attractive outdoor living area that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Follow this handy maintenance checklist to ensure that your deck stays in good shape:
Wood deck boards, banisters, and railings
A thorough visual inspection of the deck boards should be performed to look for signs of wood rot, cracks, and splintered boards. Replace any damaged boards. Banisters and railings should be checked to see if they’re loose, wobbly, or if the wood is damaged. The fall is a great time to do this, since your deck has likely seen a lot of use over the summer months. Take the time to make the necessary repairs so that the deck will be in good condition next spring.
Hardware and fasteners
Don’t overlook the hardware, including the fasteners that secure the deck to the house. Look for and replace rusting screws in the ledger, framing, and footers. It’s especially important that the deck is securely attached to the home, so the ledger is of critical importance. Hammer down all nails so that they’re flush with the wood.
Outdoor furniture and décor
If you have a place to store your outdoor furniture, it’s a good idea to bring it indoors in the fall so that it isn’t exposed to the elements during the winter months. Otherwise, invest in quality covers that can protect the furnishings. Even though they’re designed to be durable enough for the outdoors, wind, rain, and snow can leave visible effects on your furniture. Bring in decorative items to keep them safely stored for the season once the weather turns cooler.
Deck cleaning and general upkeep
In every season, it’s important to keep your deck clean and well maintained. In the fall, be sure to sweep away leaves and debris that may collect on your deck. If left to sit, leaves can become wet and heavy, leading to mildew and mold growth, and wood rot. In the winter, it’s important to carefully remove snow and ice that can pile up. Not only is wet snow heavy, putting pressure on your deck, but the moisture can cause wood rot and damage
to the boards.
Deck lighting & electrical
In every season, check your lighting to be sure that it’s in good working condition. Test outlets in the spring, and keep them properly covered for the winter. Check bulbs, and replace when necessary. Take down string lights in the fall and store them away in a dry place for the winter. Don’t forget to childproof outlets if they’re low enough that kids can reach them.
Look up and around
If you have trees that surround your deck or hang over it, check them to see if any of the branches are dry or rotted. If you do find decaying limbs, remove them before they can fall on your deck and do any damage. This is especially important to do in the fall and winter, when tree limbs may be drying out and weakened from the weather.
Use this handy checklist as a guide to maintaining your deck in every season. By performing regular upkeep, you’ll have a clean, safe, and comfortable deck throughout the year.