Deck Sealing and Staining
Over the years a deck can become damaged by the sun and rain. Resealing and staining can help repair and protect your deck from this damage.
1. Remove any chairs, tables, benches, plants, grill and any other movable items. Use a leaf blower to remove surface dirt and debris.
2. Look for any loose screws that may be sticking up above the surface of the wood. If necessary, use a drill and remove the screws and then replace them.
3. Poke an awl (pointed metal spike) into any boards that appear to have some rot damage. If the damage is less than 1/2 inch, you can leave the board in place. Otherwise, remove the board with a flat pry bar, and replace it with a board to size and install it with decking screws.
4. Clean in between the boards with a putty knife to remove any buildup of dirt and debris. Then blow off the deck again.
Cleaning your Deck
1. Mix powdered oxygen bleach with warm water in a pump sprayer. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct bleach-to-water ratio. Some products require the deck to be hosed down before using the bleach, again checking the instructions on the container. A mixture of vinegar and water will work as well.
2. Spray the mixture onto the deck working your way from one end to the other. Allow the mixture to sit and soak for 10 minutes and then scrub the boards following the direction in which the boards lay.
3. Rinse the deck thoroughly with a hose and allow it to dry for 72 hours.
Staining and Sealing your Deck
1. Using a latex waterproof stain, stir or shake the container. Pour it into a paint tray and load your paint roller. Working in the direction of the boards and in 4-foot-square sections. Begin at one end of your deck and work toward the opposite end. Rolling on an even coat of stain.
2. Keep leading edges wet to help prevent noticeable overlapping strokes. Avoid any puddles of stain. If necessary, use a paintbrush to spread out any puddles and to blend the edges of overlap for an even appearance.
3. With a paintbrush apply the latex waterproofing stain to the ends of all decking boards. Depending on the product, you may only need one coat. If you apply another coat, allow the first coat to dry for three hours.
4. Soak the rollers and brushes in a mixture of mild liquid detergent and warm water for several hours and then rinse them with clean water. Allow the deck to dry 24 hours before using it.
Water trapped in gutters can cause major damage to your roof and walls. Maintaining clean gutters can help keep your home in good shape.
1. Use a ladder to gain access to the roof. (Don’t lean the ladder against a downspout or gutter, which can easily bend or break.)
2. Using your hand or some type of large scoop, remove leaves and twigs from gutters.
3. Wet down any caked-on dirt, which can be difficult to remove without damaging the gutter, then remove it with the scoop.
4. Place a bucket or plastic trash bag on the roof or ladder to put dirt and debris in. If you use a bag, you can just drop it when it’s full.
5. Check and see if the downspouts aren’t clogged. Use water to unclog downspouts by placing a garden hose in the opening. Be gentle at first; downspouts aren’t designed to withstand the same amount of pressure as a house drain. If a clogged downspout can’t be cleared with a hose, use a small plumber’s snake or an unbent clothes hanger. Again, being gentle. Gutters are not as strong as household pipes.
6. Use the hose to flush out the gutters with water after cleaning. (This is also the best time to find out if there are any leaks in the system.)