August in North Dakota means one thing: A big change in temperature is coming fast. With the start of football season and the holidays rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to assess the condition of your deck installation. Any damage sustained during the storm is best repaired now, as the first cold spell can quickly make problems worse. Here are a few ways to prepare your deck for fall.
Brush Away Large Debris
Any organic material left to fester on your deck this winter can put you on the fast track to deck repair next spring. This is because large debris like leaves and twigs can retain moisture and create the perfect environment for mold growth. Unless you want to pass this overgrowth onto the rest of your deck, take the time to brush it away now.
Clean and Rinse
After all rocks, leaves, and other detritus have been removed, give your deck a clean and rinse. Use a gentle cleaning solution and only use bleach if you know your deck can handle it. Leave the power washing to your deck company, as too strong a stream can cause damage. Be sure to pay extra attention to the grooves between planks, as dirt loves to accumulate there.
Replace Loose Nails
A loose nail may be no big deal in the summer, but just wait until colder weather strikes. A drop in temperature causes any existing cracks or nail holes to expand and become worse. When removing loose nails, be sure to replace them with a screw instead of a new nail. Not only will this provide better grip, but also better defense against winter conditions.
Cover for Winter
If you have a tarp or deck cover, get ready to use it. Although most patios and decks are built to withstand just about any weather condition, you can give yours extra protection by covering it for the winter.
With these precautions, you can set your deck up for fall and beyond.