After the colder months of winter, many homeowners are ready to invite friends and family over for backyard barbecues. Now that the temperatures are warm, prepare your deck for spring. A little time and effort invested at the beginning of the season will make the deck safe and free from problems that could worsen without maintenance. Here are a few ways to get started.

Prepare Your Deck for Spring: Look for Damage and Rot

Wooden decking is sensitive to moisture, so anyone living in a climate where snow and ice accumulate over the winter should inspect the deck when the weather begins to warm. Look over the top and the bottom of the deck for splintering wood, popped nails, mildew, and rot. The freeze-thaw cycle damages decking materials, and addressing issues immediately helps keep your family safe and prevents further damage.

Clean the Surface

There are many different cleaning products and tools recommended depending on the decking materials. Check manufacturer guidelines to determine the best cleaning solution for your surface. If using a pressure washer, calibrate the pressure settings carefully to avoid permanent damage to the wood. If there is deep staining or mildew, look for specialized cleaners to treat stains and discoloration.

Protect the Wood to Prepare Your Deck for Spring

Wood decking is vulnerable to damage. To prepare your deck for spring, apply a fresh coat of stain or sealer to the surface. Over time, the ultraviolet rays from the sun degrade the finish of your deck and damage the wood. This is often visible in the form of cracking and splitting. If you haven’t stained or sealed your deck in over two years, spring is a good time to do so.

Install Upgrades for Comfort

Add upgrades to prepare the deck for friends’ and neighbors’ visits. If it is poorly lit, install solar lights to extend gatherings after dark. To keep the space warm and cozy, add a fire pit or build a fireplace for the deck. Both add value to a home and make the backyard more usable for your family. Scheduling upgrades early in spring avoids the rush in summer when other homeowners decide to make improvements to their outdoor spaces.

Five Stars Home Inspection offers inspections to homebuyers and sellers in the Greater Boston area. Contact us to request an appointment.