Sealing a Deck

sealing your deck

A deck is an extension of your home’s living space and where you will spend much of your time during the summer months. Consequently, it needs to be treated and cared for as much as your home’s inside rooms. Most important to the care of your deck is regularly sealing it. This is particularly true if you want your deck to maintain the natural color of the wood.

Sealing a deck is critical in order to preserve the life and look of the wood. The sealant preserves the beauty of the natural wood by protecting it from both water and sun damage.

When to Apply the Deck Sealant

In order to preserve the natural wood look for many years, I typically apply the sealant every year. Also, I usually apply it in late summer/early fall as I live in New England. I do this because of the concern of snow lying on the deck for long periods of time during the winter months. My concern is in the acidity of the water in the snow. By putting on a sealant just prior to snow season, I can provide peak protection against the prolonged damaging effects of the acid contained in the water. In hotter climates, where there is less snow, I would suggest applying the deck sealer in late spring.


Clean the deck prior to Sealing

First, remove all of the deck furniture off of the deck.

Prior to sealing it is then best to power wash the deck and let it thoroughly dry. You may need to use a stiff bristly brush to get off any material that is not being removed by the power washer. Pine pitch frequently requires the services of this tool. There are also a variety of products offered by sealant manufactures that can also assist in the deck sealant preparation.

After power washing it may take 24-48 hours, or even longer, for the deck to thoroughly dry, pending weather conditions. Make sure the deck is completely dry prior to applying the sealant. Otherwise the sealant may not be appropriately absorbed into the wood’s surface.

Once the deck is dry, and you are about ready to begin sealing, use a leaf blower to remove any debris that may have fallen onto the deck’s surface since you power washed it. If you do not have a leaf blower, than simply sweep the deck.

Sealing the deck

First, the deck sealer should not be applied if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and if rain is forecasted in the next 24 hours. Otherwise the sealant may not absorb properly, nor dry properly.

Using a brush apply the sealant around all the deck edges and posts. Once the edging is complete, use a sprayer, brush or roller to apply the sealant to the deck surface. Make sure that the sealant is firmly pressed into the wood surface to maximize the penetration of the sealant into the wood.

Typically only one coat is recommended by most deck sealers.

Though most manufactures suggest the deck is ready for walking on after 24 hours, I would recommend waiting a little longer if the weather has not been ideal for drying conditions.

Once the deck is dry, return the deck furniture and enjoy the beauty of your deck for another year.

About the Author

Over the past 20+ years Mr. Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes.


Top Ten Ways to Spruce Up Your Yard

Spruce up ypur yard

1. When it comes Spring, do you notice brown patches, even under the new growth of green grass? That means your lawn needs de-thatching, or a good, deep raking to lift out dead weeds and grasses from the previous season. Once that is done, you can encourage lush, new growth by using a rolling application cart to deliver both fertilizer and weedkiller to the lawn. Repeat fertilization in late Spring, and again in autumn.

2. Mowing is not just whacking down the grass and letting it lay there. You need to learn how to mow properly to keep it at its best and greenest. If you have a mulching mower, it will cut so that the grass is scattered in small bits, back onto the lawn, fertilizing as it goes. For regular mowers, purchase a bag attachment so that the clippings come off the lawn with you, or mow at a higher setting, and more often, so that you take off just the smallest amount, and it can remain on the lawn and not interfere with the growth.

3. If your yard has “bare” on thinly grassed spots due to shallow, dense tree roots, hard soil, or an excess of shade, there are a number of remedies to make it look more attractive. Providing there is sufficient soil, rake it up well, water, and scatter a variety of grass seed that is specifically for shaded areas, if that is the problem. For sunny areas, choose the appropriate seed. When there is not enough earth, invest in some topsoil, and seed after it is spread. Should you find that even properly cared for, the grass does not grow well, you might try some of the hardier ground cover plants from your local garden center.

4. For adding a little color to the yard, especially after the “blahs” of winter, try planting some flowering shrubs. From the brilliant yellows of Potentilla, and the reds and whites of Spirea, to the lavender of Forsythia, you’ll have all the pleasure of flowers, without the work of a garden.

5. Consider planting bushes that will develop berries that linger into the fall and winter. Not only will they provide color on the bare branches, chances are they will attract birds that your whole family can enjoy watching and identifying. Another tip for color in the colder season, is to choose varieties such as the Burning Bush, a deciduous plant that grows green through the summer, and turns flaming red in the Fall.

6. Have you got a fence that you need, but don’t really like to see? Try planting climbing plants along the length of it, including the annual Morning Glory, or floribunda roses. Clematis will also climb clothesline poles and turn them into a tower of beautiful blooms. Hide unsightly posts by planting a few low maintenance Canna Lilies. These summer bulbs and tubers grow plants up to 6′ high, with brightly colored blossoms. Unless you’re in zones 7-10, they’ll need to be taken up in the Fall.

7. Perennial gardens are well worth the work of the first year, and even the next Spring, in establishing them. If you take the time to research varieties and growing conditions, you can plant a bed with enough different flowers that you’ll have blooms throughout the whole season, and plants that come back every year.

8. For something different, try putting a pond in the backyard. This doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of excavation and twiddling with the ground. There are pond liners that will slip into the area you have dug out. If you’re planning on keeping fish, you’ll need a circulating pump, as well. Plant some water-loving greenery and flowers around the perimeter, and you’ll have a neighborhood conversation piece.

9. If you have chosen not to have flowerbeds, you can still add an element of distinction to your yard, with outdoor décor accessories. For pathways, choose from the highly decorative selections of stepping stones that mimic ancient Greek mosaics, Roman tablets, or which come with charming and whimsical characters or sayings. Add a Romanesque birdbath or water fountain in the center of the lawn. And for just a touch of color, Roman urns on either side of your front door/steps, planted with bright red geraniums.

10. House flags and garden flags are an excellent way to add color to your lawn and driveway. Adjustable brackets can be attached to the house, garage or fence posts, to hold a pole, and the larger house flags. Garden flags are hung from T or inverted U shaped frames, and look wonderful planted along a path. Celebrate special occasions, holidays and the changing of seasons, with inexpensive flags that can be used year after year.

You may also want to check out our article on enhancing your yard with raised bed gardening.


Fall Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is a great time of year to perform important home maintenance. Autumn creates plenty of predictable yard work, such as raking leaves and cleaning gutters. However, there are a number of chores that are less obvious but just as important in order to get a house in tip-top shape before winter.

Five Outdoor Projects for Home Maintenance Tips

When the gardening season draws to a close this fall, it’s time to begin working on projects outside of the house. Forbes’ magazine suggests adding these home improvements to this year’s list:

1. Additional lighting – As the days get shorter, sprucing up walkways with ground lighting adds ambience as well as an added level of safety. Inexpensive solar lights have improved in quality and can be installed without running wire.

2. Walk and caulk – Reducing energy bills, preventing drafts and keeping critters out of the house in the winter starts with a fresh bead of caulk around windows, siding and joints. Before it gets too cold, stroll around the entire exterior of the home and seal any potential air leaks.

3. Bring in lawn furniture – If there’s room, it’s best to bring patio tables and chairs into the basement or garage for the winter. It’s also a good time of year to add a fresh coat of paint if the items are looking worn.

4. Mulch garden beds – Adding fresh mulch around landscaping can help protect perennial plants from cold temperatures and keep weeds down next spring. It’s a fall home maintenance project that can also reduce work next summer.

5. Wash your home – Many homeowners don’t realize how dirty their house can get. Even the best siding won’t shed all the dust, dirt and rain that a house is constantly exposed to. While some synthetic sidings don’t hold paint, they can be given a face lift with a power washer.

More Yard Tips Press Releases


Growing a Patio Herb Garden

Growing a Patio Herb GardenYour patio is a living space that usually looks bare and uninviting. You can maximize the use of this space by planting a patio herb garden. It will make your patio look more attractive and you will even benefit from the herbs that you plant in your patio. This spot can be a place for you to sit and enjoy the fresh “aromatherapy” air an herb garden can give you. Your patio herb garden will also offer you fresh herbs to use in cooking, crafts, and home remedies. Here are some tips on how to have the perfect patio herb garden.

Tip #1. Plan what to plant. There are a wide range of herbs to choose from. You can make your choice based on what you would like to use, on how long they live, the weather conditions of your area or how they look.

Tip #2. Plan where to place them. Make a layout of where you will place the plants according to their needs. Shade lovers should be placed nearer the house and the herbs that need more sun can be placed in the sunnier location.

Tip #3. Choose small or medium size herbs. Herbs that are large are ideally placed in large containers or planted on the ground. It is better to plant the smaller herbs as this will allow them to thrive.

Tip #4. Choose the right container for your herb plants. There are many containers and pots you can choose from and these can match the look of your home and set the ambience you want. The right containers and pots will last you a long time, allow your plant to have enough space to grow and will give proper drainage.

Tip #5. Plant by groups. Planting a few herbs in one large container can be done by picking your herb according to whether they are annuals, biennials or perennial and have basically the herb care requirements.

Tip #6. Choose the container to match with your taste or decorate it your self. There are ways of turning a pretty ceramic or glass decoration into a planter. Look around your home or buy what you need. Clay pots can also be painted with colors you favor and designs.

Tip #7. Be sure to use the correct kind of potting soil. Different herbs need different kinds of soil for them to thrive. Buy the correct kind needed for your herb or even mix your own.

Tip #8. Have access to water. Lugging around a heavy watering can may be alright for some people, but older people may have difficulty carrying it. Taking care of an herb garden is an activity that can be done by smaller kids also who can help by watering.

Tip #9. Make sure you can reach your plants easily. Having to maneuver around other pots and pieces of furniture will make proper maintenance more difficult. If an older person with a back problem will have to bend down, place it on a table. If kids will be watering, place on the floor or a bench that they can reach.

Ginny Greene is an herb garden enthusiast. Visit Herb Garden Center for tips on growing herbs and using them in everyday use!


Home Security Advice

Most brake ins are committed by opportunist burglars. In 8 out of 10 brake ins they don’t even have to use force – they get in through an open door or window. Look at your property through the burglar’s eyes – are there places where they could break in unnoticed? Have you fitted substantial locks on your doors and windows? Would they have to make a lot of noise by breaking glass?

home security advice

Reduce the risk of brake in happening to you by making sure you’ve taken these simple precautions.

For a relatively small outlay you could make your property more secure and buy peace of mind into the bargain.

A third of burglars get in through a rear window, easily visible locks may deter some burglars, because a window lock forces the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention. DIY shops sell inexpensive key-operated locks to fit all kinds of different windows.

Even small windows such as skylights or bathroom fanlights need locks – an opportunist thief can get through any gap larger than a human head.

If you are replacing windows – consider laminated glass, its a lot tougher and harder to penetrate.

Install key-operated window locks to all downstairs windows, those which can’t be seen from the street and easily accessible upstairs window, eg. Those above a flat roof or by a drainpipe.
Louvre windows are especially vulnerable because the slats can be removed easily from the frame. Glue the slats in place with a strong glue, and fit a purpose made louver lock. Better still replace them with fixed glazed panels.

As a last resort, consider fitting steel security grilles to vulnerable windows – many DIY shops now sell decorative wrought iron grilles,or you can get them made to measure by a specialist company

Remember to remove keys from locked windows and to keep them out of sight of any would be thieves.

Security advice courtesy of GA Alarms

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