Summertime is here, and it’s time to get the deck ready for BBQs, pool parties, and outdoor gatherings. Whether you’re looking to spruce up a wooden deck or refresh a composite one, these tips will help you prepare your deck for summer. From cleaning and staining to checking for signs of wear and tear, your outdoor space will be ready for entertaining in no time.

Sand and Paint to Prepare Your Deck for Summer

If your wooden deck needs attention, sanding and painting are great ways to bring it back to life. Sanding will prepare the surface for paint or stain by removing layers of old paint or stain, helping the new coat to adhere. Choose an exterior-grade sandpaper, and start from a coarse grit and work your way to a finer one. Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe the decking materials down before applying paint or stain. Be sure to use a quality finish designed for outdoor wood surfaces and brush it on evenly in the direction of the grain.

Clean, Seal, and Protect

Keeping your deck clean is essential for keeping it looking good. Sweep off debris with a stiff-bristled broom, and use a hose or pressure washer to clean away dirt and grime. You can make a cleaning solution of one part bleach to three parts water for more stubborn stains. Once your deck is clean, it’s time to seal and protect it. Look for an outdoor wood sealant that repels moisture and prevents mildew. Be sure to apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check for Signs of Wear and Tear

Look at your deck’s structure, posts, and railings to ensure everything is in good shape. If there are signs of rot or damage to the wood, address them immediately. If areas are severely damaged, you may need to replace boards or posts. If you have a composite deck, check for loose screws or nails and look for signs of cracking or splitting. Make repairs or replace the decking boards entirely before the issues get worse.

Check Gates and Railings When You Prepare Your Deck for Summer

If your deck has gates or railings, inspect them to make sure they’re secure. Check that all hardware is tight, and replace broken or missing pieces. For extra safety, consider installing self-closing gate hinges — these hinges close the gate automatically, helping to keep small children and pets safe.

Add Color

Adding color is a great way to make your deck look and feel inviting. Choose vibrant outdoor pillows in colors that complement the existing décor, or add cheerful plants in pots and planters. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could paint your railings in a bold color.

Light It Up

Adding lights to the deck is a great way to extend its usable hours. Install string lights along the railings for a soft, inviting glow, or place solar garden lights around the deck’s perimeter for subtle illumination. Other options include deck post lights and recessed lights for the steps leading up to the deck.

With these tips, your deck will be ready for summer. Whether hosting a BBQ or just enjoying a night of stargazing with family and friends, your outdoor space will look well-maintained and inviting.

Pierson Home Inspection offers home inspection services to customers in New York. Contact us to schedule an appointment.