Hopefully you and your family spent a lot of time out of doors this summer and you are switching your outdoor living space over for cooler weather – trading out bright colors for deep rich hues in navy, eggplant and hunter greens. Bringing out the heaters and wool blankets to extend the time you can spend in your outdoor space.
This is also a great time to start thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen or outdoor fireplace to a current space to increase the value of your home and give you added entreating space to host family and friends.
Fall is also a great time to do a little maintenance before you move into the winter months. If you have a wooden deck, you want to make sure you clear off the leaves that have fallen and other debris that collects and accumulates between the deck boards. Deck floors may look grimy and stained, and what you may be looking at is algae, moss, mildew or even greese from the grill – all things that rest on the boards or that can grow between the boards.
So make sure to clear out the spaces between the boards, and between the edge of the deck and the house to prevent mold and mildew from growing, and from breaking down the wood. Be sure to move planters and pots as well to clean out any debris or dirt sitting below the trays.
You can use a hose with a spray nozzle on the end or a low setting on a pressure washer to loosen debris and clean out the spaces between the boards, giving the wood a little bit of breathing room!
There are many commercial products to help loosen grit and mildew from both wood and composite decks including Wolman DeckBrite or SuperDeck Exterior Wood Cleaner. Your local hardware store can also recommend an effective cleaning product that will not harm your deck. Be sure to let them know the construction of your deck and its always a good idea bring in a few photos of troubled areas to help select a product that is right for you.
Once you have cleaned any mold or mildew off the deck, and the debris from between the boards, you can add a water repellant finish or touch up the paint. This helps protect your boards and prevents water from penetrating the wood.
It is always a good idea to also look below the deck and check the posts for signs of rotting or termites, and ensure the leader board and hardware are secure.
General maintenance helps extend the life of your outdoor living space and ensures you are always ready to host your next gathering!