Porches require even more regular maintenance than indoor spaces. Neglect them, and dirt and debris can quickly build up. Decks are exposed to the elements all year round so it’s a good idea to establish a routine of upkeep that’ll protect your porch and prevent expensive repairs. Here’s a simple maintenance schedule to help keep your deck safe, sound, and looking great.
We will present you with two types of maintenance. Starting with the most impactful one which is the common cleaning routine. Every week, sweep the floors with an outdoor push broom, dust the windowsills, door frames, and ceiling-fan blades using a counter brush. Any time you notice an accumulation of mildew on the floor, scrub with a solution of 1 part oxygen bleach to 3 parts water using a deck brush in order to prevent the deck from turning green. Washing the light fixture covers at least once a month is also extremely beneficial because of insects which tend to collect in them. Always remove covers to clean them. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing them.
Second type of maintenance is sessional. There are certain times of the year where you should take extra care about your deck. Starting with late spring when it’s a great time to remove debris from between deck boards. Pay special attention to the areas where deck boards cross the joists — the structural members underneath the decking. Spring is also the time to seal the deck. Sealers and stains are available at home improvement centers for about $30 per gallon — enough to cover 250 square feet of decking. Choose a two-day period when you’ll have clear skies and moderate temperatures. Lightly sand the deck. Replace any missing or popped nails and screws. Apply the sealer or stain. Use a roller to apply the sealer to the decking, covering three or four boards at a time. Use brushes and small rollers for railings, planters, and benches. Don’t let the sealant dry or puddle. Two thin coats is better than one thick one.
Midsummer is the second time that we should give our porch some extra love. When the weather is warm and dry, it’s a good time to give your deck’s structure a close inspection. Pay particular attention to any areas within 6 inches of the ground or close to sources of water, such as downspouts and planters. Look for signs of rot. Begin by checking stairs, especially where the stringers meet the ground. Also check each perimeter post. If you can push the screwdriver a quarter-inch or more into a suspect area, you probably have rot. Inspect the ledger. Using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay special attention to the ledger — that all-important piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house. A damaged ledger is the cause of 90% of all deck collapses. Check for cracks or rotten decking boards. Not all cracks are a structural threat, but they’ll get worse with time. Check the railing. Give it a good shake to be sure posts are not loose or damaged
Early Fall is the best time for some preventive measures. Trim nearby bushes and trees. They need to be at least 12 inches from the deck to slow mold, moss, and rot. Don’t let leaves and other debris pile up in corners. Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloring the decking. Keep nearby gutters and downspouts in good repair.
If you follow these instruction you will maintain your porch in a healthy state and forestall repairs, protect your investment, and boost your enjoyment of your outdoor space. In other words the porch will love you and you will love your porch.
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