6 Simple Steps to a Refreshed Deck

Winters put backyard decks to the test. If yours emerged from the ravages of the season worse for wear, take heart. Today, the floorboards may be weathered and the handrails may be dingy, but tomorrow—or at least within the space of a long weekend—you can restore your deck to its former glory, and with a lot less hassle than you feared. Click through now for a step-by-step action plan.

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  1. Status Check

    Assess-deck

    Waking up a tired deck begins with an assessment of its current condition. First, examine plainly visible components for signs of loose fasteners, cracked members, and wood rot. Follow up by checking for those same red flags along the posts, joists, and beams on the underside of the deck. Inspect the stairs, if applicable, and, finally, take a look at the footings. Here, cracked or crumbling concrete, depending on severity, may mean trouble. When in doubt, call a pro.

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  2. Clean Slate

    Sweeping_the_deck

    Winter storms huff and puff, scattering leaves, twigs, and other miscellaneous debris across the deck, where it can get lodged in the structure's many crevices. Move all furniture out of the way and, using a stiff broom or even a leaf blower, remove all the larger debris that has managed to collect between the floorboards and at the base of the balusters.

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  3. Blast Off

    Deck_1

    Unleash the power of water to soften and disperse dirt, grime, and stubborn stains of all types. Just add a stiff brush and elbow grease. To make quicker work of things, get a power assist from a handy tool like the HYDE PivotPro Outdoor Cleaning Water Wand. Easy to use, the PivotPro attaches directly to your garden hose, enabling you to blast away the toughest muck.

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  4. Soap Box

    Dispenser

    Sometimes you need more than water to cut through all the crud. For particularly stubborn grime, use liquid deck cleaner, with or without mildew inhibitor. Once again, the HYDE PivotPro simplifies what might otherwise be a cumbersome, time-consuming chore. Simply add soap to the built-in reservoir and set your soap-to-water ratio, then point, shoot, and spray. Once you're ready to rinse off, toggle the lever and return the tool to clear-water mode.

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  5. All Angles

    Deckrail_1

    It's no easy feat to get your deck and furniture, with all its many nooks and crannies, thoroughly and completely clean. Fortunately, the HYDE PivotPro is perfectly suited to the challenge. Its patented pivoting nozzle gets at both horizontal and vertical deck parts from every angle, all without requiring you to stretch, bend, or stoop. You can remain on your own two feet while rotating the tool a full 135 degrees to reach over, under, and around every surface that needs your attention.

    thehydeway.com

  6. Finish Up

    Staining_a_deck

    If, after all your efforts, your deck, though clean, still looks shabby and gray, perhaps it's time to refinish it. Given their constant exposure to the elements, most decks need a new coat of paint or stain every two or three years. Many excellent exterior wood finishing products are available at your local home center, in a variety of colors. Some even offer mildew and/or moisture resistance, which can extend the life of your deck while enhancing its appearance.

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  7. For More...

    For-more

    For more about outdoor maintenance, consider:


    Your Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Home's Exterior


    15 Spring Home Maintenance Musts


    10 Ways to Wake Up Your Yard for Spring


    This post has been sponsored by HYDE Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

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