Welcome to part 5 of our spring checklist series for homeowners! This week’s entry will focus on decks and patios.  Spring maintenance can extend their lifespan, save you money in future repairs or replacement and keep you safe!

 Exterior:  Decks and Patios

Inspecting your deck and/or patio every spring can help extend it’s lifespan exponentially.  Finding and repairing trouble areas now can really save you money in future replacement costs.  It can also catch potential safety hazards to keep you and your family safe

Heavy snow and ice over the winter months can cause stress damage to decks and patios, so start by doing a visual inspection.  For wood decks, do you see any loose or damaged boards, posts, steps or guardrails?  If so, repair or replace loose boards and reset any protruding nails by gently tapping them back into place.  Next, clean your deck to remove debris that may have accumulated over the winter.  Power washers are a great tool to use.  If you don’t own a power washer, keep in mind that many local hardware stores rent them by the hour or day.  After your deck has been cleaned and is dry, resealing or staining is always a good idea to protect the wood.  If you choose to refinish or apply new decking stain, keep in mind that outdoor temperatures should be above 70 degrees before you do so and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Next, check your outdoor furniture.  Inspect tables, chairs and umbrellas for any damage and repair or replace if necessary.   If no damage is found, then now is a great time to clean and air them out.  Chair pads and umbrellas can be washed with warm soapy water and then air dried.  Keeping them clean not only looks nicer, it will help them last longer as well!

Finally, pull out your grill for a good cleaning.  Clean any dust or dirt that may have accumulated over the winter.  Instructions on cleaning the inside of your grill will vary depending on the type of grill you have and also by manufacturer.  Refer to the manufacturer’s booklet for details.  Remove the grates to clean them.  They can be scrubbed with steel wool (using hot soapy water) or with oven cleaner.  If you choose to use oven cleaner, follow the instructions on the can for safety.  If you cook on the grill a lot during the summer, cleaning it now will save you the hassle of doing it before your first grilled dinner of the season.

We hope this information has been helpful.  Check back soon for the next entry in the At Home with Judy Spring Checklist Series for Homeowners.