SOURCE: Handyman Connection

Handyman Connection

June 27, 2012 13:18 ET

How to Keep Your Outdoor Deck in Top Form Using a Maintenance Schedule

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2012) - Outdoor decks are perfect for summer lounging, but they may be paying the price for the colder and often wetter winter months with unsafe, unsightly damage. Handyman Connection, one of the largest home improvement specialty companies in North America, today released some pointers maintaining an attractive and secure outdoor deck.

"There are things you can do every month to keep a deck in great condition, but you still need to take advantage of the good weather of summer to do a thorough annual inspection and repair outdoor deck," says Jeff Wall of Handyman Connection.

Here are some suggestions for maintaining outdoor deck in good shape:

Weekly or Bi-Weekly Upkeep

  • Sweep and hose your deck regularly.  Get rid of leaves and debris. Wet leaves are a particular threat to decks. Moisture left in place can seep deep into the material and can lead to mildew and algae. Hose away any dirt or bird droppings.

Monthly Cleaning

  • Clean the deck thoroughly. Use cleaning products and wash away dirt and mildew. Look for products that are compatible with the deck's material. Choose biodegradable cleaners when possible; several good environmentally friendly products do as good a job as cleaners made with chemicals.

Annual Maintenance

  • Carefully inspect your deck. Look for loose nails and screws, wobbly railing, and faulty beams and support poles. Check carefully for any insect damage, and look for mold or mildew, soft, rotting wood and bowed or warped planks.
  • Tighten any loose joinery you find. Replace or re-tighten loose nails and screws. Secure loose railings, support structures and areas where the deck is joined to the house.
  • Replace loose, warped or damaged planks. Uneven surfaces pose a safety hazard, so replace them. There's a good chance you'll find damaged or rotting planks next to or surrounded by healthy boards; if you don't have the proper tools and expertise to do the job yourself, call in a professional contractor to take care of this for you.
  • Re-tighten or replace structural components. If you find support beams or poles that are loose, rotten or out of position, take the safe approach. Discontinue use of your deck until a professional handyman comes in and makes adjustments and repairs.
  • Apply a finish or preservative. This final step will make your deck look great and protect it from mildew and water damage. Use a high-quality product, such as one that includes a UV-resistant compound.

"With proper outdoor deck maintenance, there's no reason your deck can't hold up to the elements and look great for years," says Wall. "That's peace of mind, knowing you can enjoy your deck without worrying about how safe it is."

About Handyman Connection
In 1993, Handyman Connection (www.handymanconnection.com) became the first home improvement and repairs firm to offer franchises. The company specializes in small to medium home improvements, repairs and remodeling. The Handyman Connection has franchises throughout North America, each locally owned and operated and backed by the company. Company policy dictates that every handyman has at least 10 years of professional experience. Handyman Connection is a subsidiary of FS Brands a leader and innovator in franchising and in property management. FS Brands is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV) (TSX: FSV), a globally diversified leader in real estate services. For more information, see www.firstservice.com.

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