Summer season is barbecue season, so you should have your deck cleaned and ready for entertaining friends and family. Learn how you can prepare your deck for summer backyard barbecues here.
Perform a Deck Inspection
Before doing any repairs, inspect your outdoor deck for the following:
- Warping — Decking materials like wood and composite expand and contract due to temperature changes. Therefore, certain parts may warp due to uneven expansion and contraction rates. Check the deck surface for warped spots and take note of these as they may need to be planed or replaced.
- Waterproofing — Spray water on the surface to check for worn-out waterproofing. Ideally, the water should form beads on the deck surface. If the deck material starts absorbing the water, then waterproofing should be applied to these areas.
- Dry Rot — Check for dry rot by gently but firmly tapping boards using a long pointed tool, such as a screwdriver. If pieces fall out, dry rot has set in, and you’ll have to have these components repaired or replaced. Door replacement contractors use the same method when inspecting door frames.
Clean Your Deck
If your outdoor deck doesn’t have these issues, start cleaning it. Use a scrub brush, but do not apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the waterproofing layer. Do not use anything stronger than soap and water unless specified by your outdoor deck contractor. If you must use a power washer, use it on low setting to prevent damage. Make sure the deck has dried out completely before applying a protective coating.
Add Furniture and Barbeque Equipment
At this point, you’ll have done the hard part, so it’s a matter of putting the deck furniture and accessories on your deck. Make sure the pillows and cushions are clean and free of mold and mildew. Wash them if necessary. Inspect your furniture, and make sure they’re structurally sound. The last thing you want is the furniture collapsing when someone sits on it.
A backyard barbecue wouldn’t be complete without a barbecue pit. You can choose a portable grill, but they’re not as durable as one made of brick, stone or concrete. You can also choose to have as big a grill area as you want, perfect for cooking big batches of food. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining in the future, consider an outdoor kitchen complete with refrigerator, prep area and a sink.