It’s summer time and what better way to celebrate then hosting dinners, pool parties, BBQ s and wine tastings! Decks and patios are a great way to add value to our homes. These are cost effective projects that can showcase a home’s backyard and become a selling feature. Not to mention, they making summers a whole lot of fun! These tips will help you know what you can do to care for your decks and patios to make them look fresh.
Decks are made of wood or synthetic material.
Synthetic or composite material
Synthetic or composite material is a bit easier to care for and one reason many homeowners choose synthetic decking. Trek and Versadeck are two popular brands. Trex uses a rubber base and Versadeck uses an aluminum base. Each of these is simple to clean and stay on top of. Semi annual cleaning with a little soap and water can go a long way to keeping your synthetic or composite deck clean. Remember to immediate clean off any food that has fallen on the decking material as certain foods can cause stains.
Wood decks are fantastic but need a bit more maintenance. You will need to rinse them off with water periodically or sweep them with a broom. However, to retain their rich color you will need to periodically stain the decks. Before you are staining a deck, it is best to pressure wash the deck removing any debris or excess. However, if your pressure washer is very powerful, you may want to choose a spray method that has less pressure. Some pressure washers will damage the deck more than help it.
Once you have pressure washed or sprayed your deck, you can then start the process of staining your deck. Our recommendation is to review your deck and potentially sand specific areas. Wood tends to splinter and crack. Therefore, using a sanding machine or good old fashioned grit and arm power, you will get a smooth deck removing any splinters and making the deck easier to stain.
Let the deck dry from the pressure washing for approximately 48 hours to make sure the deck will absorb the stain. After the drying period, now it is time to stain the deck. When we refer to stain, we are referring to stain and sealant. Sealant is clear and will give your natural wood a rich look. Staining your wood will change the color of your wood. Either option is perfectly okay. It will depend on the style of your outdoor area.
Using a sponge applicator, you will get your sealant to stain mixture and you will take the same approach as painting a room but your painting a floor. Paint one coat, let it dry and paint the next coat. Two coats should get the job done. It will be important that you let both coats of stain dry prior to placing any outdoor furniture on them. Also remember to keep pets and people off the deck until dry. Remember to stain your railings if they are also wood. Sealing and staining a deck is a great project to get done over a weekend.
Patios are another thing all together
Patios are made concrete, stone, tile and other material. Generally, these materials are easy to clean. A quick spray of a hose to clean these areas is very easy. After some winters, you may need a pressure washer to remove any build up like grease, dirt or plant material. If your patios are really dirty, you may need to use a soap and water to scrub specific areas prior to the pressure washing.
Be careful with tile, too much pressure washing can actually remove the grout that keeps the tile in place.
Now that your outdoor decks and patios are clean it is time to have some fun! Get your furniture out, get the parties going and have a blast.