Spring is here, chances are if you’re not on your lawn or in your garden, you’re hanging out on the deck.

1. Clear off the Deck

To keep a deck looking great, start by removing leaves and debris. Make quick work of them by using a blower or a broom.

Leaves can also get caught between the boards. To remove them just screw an “L” hook at the end of a broom handle, then scrape away debris stuck between those boards.

It’s important to get rid of the leaves as soon as possible. Leaves combined with moisture lead to stains or rotted wood.

2. Remove Dirt and Mold

Clean the area thoroughly with mild soap or deck cleaner and a scrub brush. Remove caked-on dirt and mold using a power washer set on low-pressure setting.

It’s important to regularly clean a wood deck to keep it looking good and prevent the wood from weathering or deteriorating over time. Here are some tips to get you started.

3. Inspect the Deck

Next, sand any splinters or rough spots. Drive in any protruding nails or screws, and replace any warped boards. To reduce future maintenance, pull out any protruding nails and replace with screws, which secure the wood better.

Exterior wood steps can become slippery over time, especially when they’re wet.

Make them safer by installing a peel-and-stick abrasive strip on the edge of each tread. Ensure the steps are clean and dry before applying the strip. Another option is to apply an anti-slip spray coating.

4. Seal the Wood

Finally, seal or stain the deck to protect it from rain and sun using a quality deck sealer or stain.

It’s important to make sure new deck wood is ready for the stain. New wood requires some curing time to dry out and allow the pores of the wood to open. Test the surface by pouring a cup of water on it. If the water soaks in within 30 seconds, the wood is dry enough to stain. If not, wait 4-6 weeks and test again.

water on wood deck
When water soaks into the wood instead of beading up, it’s time to seal or stain it.

Once the wood has passed that test, apply stain when the outside temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch this video to find out how staining a wood deck protects the wood from UV rays and mildew so it will last longer and look better.

As with any paint or staining project, the key is the preparation. Cover any areas you want to protect, and sweep or brush the surface clean of any surface dust, dirt, and debris.

5. Furnish Your Deck

patio furniture

Clean the outdoor furniture thoroughly. Regardless of whether the outdoor furniture on your patio or deck is made of wood, aluminum, wrought iron, or plastic, it takes a lot of abuse from the elements, including sun, rain, snow, and extreme changes in temperature.

If you had cushions out all winter, replace them as they may have mold.
Click here for tips on how to clean and protect any kind of outdoor furniture.

Now you – and your deck – are ready to enjoy some time in the summer sun.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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