Spring is upon us, and summer will not be far behind. For Austin residents, that means that it’s time to break out the grilling utensils and fire up our smokers. It also means that it’s time to get our decks ready for the summer season. Here are three things you can do to get your deck ready for the extra usage it will get in the coming months.
Deck inspection is a key part of ensuring your deck is ready for the heat that Austin summers bring with them. With the damp weather that winter and spring bring to Texas, decks are susceptible to rotting over the years. By inspecting each part of your deck you can be sure that no damage goes unnoticed, and by correctly repairing or replacing damaged wood, you can prevent unnecessary injuries to you and your family.
Most homeowners don’t realize there is much more to the deck than the railing and deck surface. Many homes are purchased with a deck already attached and if that’s not the case, many homeowners hire a contractor to build their deck for them. Since this is most often the case, many Austin residents are not familiar with how to properly inspect their deck. It’s tempting to simply assume the deck is safe if the decking boards appear to be in good shape, but that’s not a wise choice.
The areas to inspect reach far beyond the surface of the deck, and are not altogether noticeable unless you’re actually looking for them. When you’re inspecting your deck for damaged or rotten wood, the first place to start is the support system. Check the posts to be sure that none of the have cracks in them or are showing any signs of rot. It’s wise to be sure that water is not able to stand in puddles around the bases of the posts, as over time this can cause severe decay.
Next, check the support system and steps. Look underneath the deck and down the length of each joist. Once again, you’re looking for cracks or signs of rotten wood. If any of the joists are cracked or rotten, then a repair or replacement is a necessity. This should be done by someone who understands how to do so properly, so if you’re not sure how to go about it, call a local contractor. The stairs should be inspected in the same manner.
Finally, check the rails and spindles. Damaged rails can lead to an injury if someone should lean against them and they were to break away. Spindles that are broken or rotten can cause injuries to small children, as they often attempt to climb on the rails using spindles as handholds. If any part of the railing or spindle system is damaged, repair or replace it immediately.
The next thing you should do to get your deck ready for the summer is to ensure that it is properly sealed. If you own a hardwood deck that is made out of ipe, tigerwood, or other exotic hardwoods, then a water sealer is not recommended. A penetrating oil can be added to help keep the wood in good condition. Pine, cedar and other softwoods can be treated with a water sealant such as Thompsons to help prevent damage.
Adding a grill or KamadoJoe smoker to your deck is another great way to help get it ready for summertime. The addition of a grill means you can entertain your guests with outdoor dinner parties and cookouts, and it’s also a great way to spend time with your family.
Come by Timbertown Austin and find everything you need to get your deck ready for the summer. Our friendly staff will gladly help you select everything you need, from materials for repairs to a new smoker.