As the weather warms up, it’s time to dust off the outdoor furniture and enjoy your alfresco area again.
Andrew Blake, founder of Ecohouz, shares some handy tips on how to get your deck ready for those delightful spring days.
1. Take a closer look
Andrew advises we should be checking our deck annually, especially coming into the warmer weather.
“The more often you check, the better,” he says. “Probe around the posts and foundation of the concrete blocks with a screwdriver.”
Also keep an eye out for rot and any posts that may have shifted.
“As you come out of winter, where you’re not getting as much sunlight, these types of problems can easily occur,” Andrew explains.
Don’t forget to give the surface of your deck a once over to see if there are any cracks in the timber and replace boards where needed.
2. Clean it up
Instead of grabbing the chemical-laden cleaner, Andrew suggests using a simple concoction of vinegar and water to give your deck a good clean.
“Be guided by how well the mixture lifts the dirt or mould, but generally a mix of 20ml of vinegar and 1 litre of water should do the trick,” he says.
Firstly, patch test on a small area and use a cloth to wipe away any grime. If that doesn’t work move to a bristle brush.
Then, if all looks fine continue to clean the entire deck and rinse off with water. If the stains are particularly stubborn, simply pour on the vinegar mixture and leave to soak for a few minutes.
“Try and avoid harsh cleaning chemicals especially if you have kids or pets around,” Andrew says.
3. Top coat
Andrew says there’s no better time to give your deck a fresh coat of oil, stain or varnish as the sun dries it off faster.
An easy way to see if you need to do some sanding beforehand is to sprinkle some water droplets on the wood.
“Wait a few minutes and if it absorbs into the deck, apply without sanding. If the water remains on the surface you will need to sand it down first,” he explains.
Further, it’s good to apply this coat with a foam or bristle brush and Andrew stresses it should only ever be brushed on in the direction of the wood grain to ensure full coverage.
4. Added extras
While you want to soak up the sun, there’s nothing worse than having to retreat indoors because it’s unbearably hot.
Andrew suggests adding some greenery to make those scorching days more tolerable.
“Greenery will take away the impact of the direct sunlight as will the addition of a water feature,” he says.
Don’t forget to add some trusty shade cloth or an umbrella and you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors for hours.
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May 27, 2018 at 4:00pm PDT
5. Renewable furniture
If you’re looking at updating your outdoor furniture, Andrew urges people to think about incorporating sustainable materials.
“Alternative eco-friendly material such as bamboo, plastics turned into e-wood, or even hemp are great sustainable options to spruce up your deck,” Andrew says.