Whether your house had a deck and patio when you bought it or you just had one built, these outdoor spaces are perfect for lounging on the weekend or relaxing after a long day of work. However, fall's arrival could pose problems for your deck. Falling leaves decay on the wood, and unless quickly removed, they can stain your deck. We offer deck staining and power washing services for your deck or patio, but you can also follow a few tips to keep these areas looking pristine on your Boulder, Colorado, home. Here's how.
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is deciding not to stain and seal a deck. Stain provides a baseline level of protection, yet without a coat of sealant, even stain could prove ineffective against the powerful tannins found in most leaves. In addition, sealants protect against rain and the harmful rays of the Colorado sun. You should seal the deck about every 2 to 3 years, as this is the life span of even the most expensive brands of sealant.
Image via Flickr by woodleywonderworks
Another way you can keep your deck and patio looking great is by cleaning it regularly. In fall, this could mean as many as two cleanings a week. To start, use a broom to remove the leaves and other debris that have accumulated. You might also want to use a hose to remove any dirt that's caked on from potted plants.
The next step is to power-wash your deck. If you don't own a power washer, plan on renting one from a home improvement store. Fill it with a deck-washing solution, and when you're done, your deck or patio should look as good as new. If you have composite wood, you might want to check with the manufacturer to see what cleaning products and water pressure to use.
Although washing the entire deck thoroughly is an excellent idea, you might not have time to complete the job. When you're planning a party or get-together, you can easily scrub away spot stains. Scrub each stain using a half water, half bleach mix and a nonabrasive sponge. Make sure to rinse away the excess solution before it dries to prevent any additional stains from the bleach.
Painting your deck does help seal the wood, but it's not an effective way to prevent staining. Latex or oil-based paints are particularly susceptible to stains from leaves. Instead of painting your deck or patio to match the exterior color of your home, try adding color accents such as furniture, pots, or lighting. These will give the area a cozy feel without the extra stains. If you do paint the wood, cleaning it can become a lengthy venture that's not worth the time.
When it comes to your deck or patio, don't let leaves ravage its appearance. Instead, follow these tips, or contact us to keep it looking great for as long as you own the house.
Image via Flickr by orderlyschism