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Deck Maintenance: The Key to a Fun and Safe Summer

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: your outdoor structures need just as much care and maintenance as your home. Think about it - your decks, sheds, and fences are exposed to the elements, and get wear and tear just like your home will over the years. If not properly taken care of, not only can these structures get ruined - they can actually become a danger. That’s especially true for your deck.

Regular deck maintenance is so important - and before you host that first deck party of the season, you better give it an inspection. I’ve read too many stories about people getting hurt from an unsafe deck, and it just breaks my heart. If you haven’t yet this season, inspect your deck. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

Spring into a Deck Check

The best time to perform your annual deck check is during the spring. Over the course of its lifetime, your deck will start to wear out - that’s just a fact. But if you keep on top of your inspections, and perform regular maintenance, you’ll be able to extend the life of your deck.

Look for signs of deterioration on wooden sections of your deck - the means your boards, joists, railings, and stairs. Any boards that are rotting should be replaced immediately.

Don’t ignore the deck hardware either. Look for rust or corrosion on metal connectors or fasteners. They may simply come loose over time, too. If you can, tighten fasteners, and hammer any popped nails back in. If not possible, replace the hardware as soon as possible.

The most important piece of your deck to pay attention to is the ledger board. The ledger board is the piece that connects the deck to your structure, and if this one small piece of hardware fails, it can spell bad news. Ledger boards should never be connected to the house by nails, you need the proper bolts and structural screws.

For instances of surface mold on your deck, you shouldn’t need to replace any boards. Rinse and wash with Concrobium House & Deck Wash which will remove dirt and grime, without using bleach - and restore a fresh look to your deck.

Hire a Licensed Inspector

The safety of your deck and the people who use it is of the absolute importance. If you’re not sure how to properly spot the signs of wear and tear, it will be worth bringing in a licensed inspector to check your deck for safety.

And if your deck is over five years old, it should get inspected by a professional - and every three years after that.

About the Author

Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host, is working with Associa to refine the standards and protocols that today’s Homeowner’s Associations use to Make It Right™ for their homeowners. He brings more than 35 years of experience in renovations, construction, and inspection services, and is best known as the contractor and host of “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Makes It Right” where he rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters.