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Preparing Your Deck for Summertime Fun

Jun 13, 2008
Summertime means barbecue time for millions of Americans. Summer is the time for fun in the sun on your deck. Rising gas prices are causing more people to look to their own backyard for summertime fun. Backyard swimming pools and barbecues are high on the "potential vacation spots" list for many this year.

Taking care of your own possessions is probably second nature. Besides your usual tender loving care, the four primary things your deck will likely need to prepare it for summertime are: stripping, cleaning, waterproofing and staining. A well-maintained deck can provide many years of outdoor enjoyment and family fun.

* Stripping your deck cleans the wood of all old stain or paint. Be sure to choose a stripping agent that is bleach-free, as bleach is not compatible with most waterproofing agents. Chlorine bleach is also very drying and harmful to wood. Cleaning your wooden deck with chlorine bleach can cause it to age much faster.

* Cleaning your deck is one of the most important things you can do to prepare it for a new finish. Cleaners made specifically for decks will help restore the wood's natural color and bring out the wood grain. Your deck cleaner also should be free of chlorine bleach.

* Waterproofing your deck helps keep it looking new for years to come. Water is damaging to the wood and excessive water can lead to rot. Just as too much water is not good for your deck, the sun is very drying and damaging, as well. It is important to choose a waterproofing agent that helps protect the wood from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

* Staining a deck can make a world of difference in the appearance of your backyard hideout. Choosing a stain that contains pigment also can help protect your deck from UV rays. It is possible to purchase waterproofing stains that contain UV blockers. If you have questions specific to a brand, call or contact the manufacturer to ask.

On-Deck Grill Area

Most people have a grill on their deck. After all, what is a backyard barbecue without a barbecue grill? One of the most important accessories you can buy is a protective mat to put under your grill. Grill pads come in a variety of colors, materials and textures to fit all needs. In fact, more than 50,000 such pads are sold every year. Many different styles and options are available and they are made to fit nearly every size grill. A grill pad will help protect your deck from grease splatters and other dangers. Grease splatters are not attractive additions to your newly refinished deck. You also may consider placing a splatter mat under the area where you hang your grill utensils. Utensils often drip grease that can splatter in different directions. Protecting your deck from all grease splatters will help ensure the life of the stain as well as maintain a cleaner food preparation area.

Deck Furnishings

Deck and patio furniture help bring the indoors out. Deck furniture has evolved dramatically over the past decade. Benches, tables, chairs and padded lounge chairs can help add to your comfort during the summer heat. Decorative lights, landscaping and flowerpots can lend an air of tranquility to your deck. Water decorations, such as fountains or fish bowls, contribute to a lively atmosphere. Goldfish often do very well in small to medium-sized deck ponds. Whatever deck furniture you choose, it should reflect your personal tastes and needs. Your deck is an extension of your home. You should be as comfortable outside as you are inside.
About the Author
Learn more about sealer remover and wood stripper or contact Shane Hester at BlognList for quality blog links .
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