Ok…It’s official. Summer is over. As of the Autumn Equinox, the season officially changed and we embrace all things autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes, a favorite comfy sweater, cozy fires and comfort food. But just because summer is over, that does not mean you have to stop enjoying time on your deck.
The deck designs and accessories that are available today make it easy to enjoy your deck throughout the year, regardless of the climate you live in. Items like fire features and propane heaters make it easy to have a comfortable temperature to continue to enjoy the fresh air. Covered decks or elevated decks with a dry, protected area below make it even easier.
Here’s a look at a few things that can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces so you can let go of summer and fall in love with your deck in the autumn.
Autumn Deck Tips
Keep What You Use – Store the Rest
Outdoor furniture and accessories add comfort and style to make your outdoor living space a place you can really enjoy. Colorful cushions, rugs, and planters enjoyed through the summer don’t always work in the fall, especially in a rainy climate.
Tip #1 – Pack away summer furniture, planters, and accessories.
Your exposed autumn and winter deck accessories should be able to withstand the rain. Be sure to store away any fabric items so they are not ruined by the elements and you can pull them out to enjoy next spring. Planters for your annual flowers should be stored away as well. Planters can be a magnet for drifting leaves and debris that settle alongside them. When left for long periods the dirt buildup can be significant. It may not be very noticeable through the fall and winter when you may not use your deck as frequently, but in the spring when you rearrange your deck accessories, you can be left with frustrating dirty spots and the need for extra cleaning.
Enjoy Colorful Leaves – But Not on Your Deck Surface
My favorite part of autumn is when the leaves turn into brilliant oranges, reds, and golds. It’s a childlike visceral pleasure to watch the wind send them on whimsical journeys – but it’s a heck of a nuisance when they settle on your deck surface.
Tip #2 – Clean fallen leaves or other organic debris off your deck as soon as possible.
Decomposing organic matter like leaves can not only be messy, but it can stain your deck surface and be very difficult to clean come spring.
Clean a Little Now so You Can Avoid Cleaning a Lot Later
We all seem to be a little more enthusiastic about spring cleaning with anticipation of summer, but autumn cleaning is just as important – if not more. After months of regular use and seeing your deck all the time, you may not notice the state of its surface. It is likely to have some remnant spills from barbecues or beverages, and even more likely some dust or dirt. This year, in particular, the western states and provinces were subject to a lot of ash from wildfires in the air. All of this contributes to a layer of sediment on your deck.
Tip #3 – Wash your deck with a mild cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
Before the really bad weather comes and makes it a more unpleasant task than it needs to be, take the time to give your deck a good wash. It will make your spring cleaning a lot easier and extend the appearance of your deck longer. Be sure to follow cleaning recommendations from your deck manufacturer. To clean a Duradek vinyl deck surface we recommend using a vinyl deck cleaner for a gentle clean. If you would like to substitute for a more common household cleaner we have found that diluted Cascade powdered dish detergent works well also. Simply scrub with a soft-bristled brush or broom. No matter what product you use to clean, make sure it is safe for use on vinyl, and be sure to rinse well so there is no chemical residue remaining.
Keep Your Deck Waterproof and Protected
Sometimes when we get so much pleasure from leisure time on our decks, we forget how important it is for safety and the protection of our homes to make sure our decks or balconies are waterproof protected. Once moisture has gotten into a wood structure, rot is inevitable and can weaken wood to the point of crumbling like a clump of dirt.
Sanding, staining, and sealing a wood deck is a grueling task – and it is certainly not just for aesthetic purposes. The primary purpose is to protect the wood from water damage. You can avoid that chore by surfacing your deck with a vinyl membrane.
Tip #4 – Keep Your Deck Waterproof Protected.
Choosing a vinyl membrane for your deck surface does provide an attractive, easy-to-clean deck – but more importantly, it protects your deck and your home from moisture. This is particularly true when you have a vinyl deck surface installed by professionals who understand waterproofing techniques and details. A good vinyl product installed without these critical details can still fail at points of vulnerability. Duradek vinyl membranes are installed ONLY by trained and authorized contractors so we can be confident it will perform as intended. This allows us to offer a very comprehensive warranty that protects the homeowner with 3 levels of protection including product performance, appearance, and workmanship.
Consult with a Decking Professional
If you question the waterproof integrity of your deck or think it might be time for a deck makeover, you can contact a Duradek waterproofing expert for a free, no-obligation estimate for your deck.
Tip #5 – Contact a Duradek Professional
Whether you want to waterproof your deck with vinyl for a low-maintenance surface or to keep a dry, protected area below, Duradek is an easy, cost-effective solution for a long-lasting waterproof deck. Be sure to look for Duradek at your local Fall Home Shows.
But really, the most important tip of all is not to take your outdoor living space for granted. It is a commodity cherished by many but enjoyed by too few. If you have outdoor living space, make good use of it for relaxation, family time, leisure activities and socializing. Your well-being will benefit from it!