Deck Maintenance painted terrace railings

Deck Maintenance Before the Parties Occur

How many invitations for outdoor parties have you received so far this season? Maybe you’re planning your own which means you’ve been making sure your backyard is decent for viewing. When was the last time you gave your deck any thought though? With all of the people you plan on having over in the coming season, you want to make sure that your deck is as safe and beautiful as the rest of your yard. If you haven’t done any deck maintenance  in a while, here are a few things you should do before that first party rolls around.

Protecting Your Deck from Weather

You’ll need two cloudy, mild days to do this (not back to back), so you’ll need to start this process in the early part of the year. Start by clearing the deck surface and in between the boards of all dirt and debris, then use a cleaner appropriate to the material your deck is made of—wood, composite, or vinyl—and coat the entire surface of the deck and railings with it. Be sure that it soaks for only as long as necessary before thoroughly rinsing every surface, and then allow your deck to dry completely.

If you have a wood deck, return after at least two days have passed, and you can begin the process of sealing the deck, which starts with sanding down the surface and replacing any loose or missing nails/screws. You can use a large paint roller to apply the sealant, with no more than two coats, as you don’t want it to pool in places and leave an uneven stain. If your deck is made of composite, you will need a specialized sealant, but if you have a vinyl deck, you can skip this step completely. Sealing the deck is an annual task, so be sure to consult a contractor on the best way to care for your deck when it is first built.

Inspecting the Structure

Early summer – after all of the spring rains have moved away – is a good time to check the structural integrity of your deck, and to ensure that the wood is free of rot and cracks. Use a screwdriver to inspect structural posts and stairs; if the screwdriver can be driven more than an inch into the wood, it needs to be replaced immediately. You should also take the time to replace any cracked boards in your deck, as rot has a tendency to form inside of the cracks and will eventually compromise the structure.

Your deck is a great place to spend time with friends and family throughout the spring and summer, it gives your backyard a homey feel, and it adds equity to your home, but only if you maintain it. If you have questions about how best to take care of your deck, or if you need help repairing damage to it, please call Liberty Builders for a consultation.

Eco-Friendly Fiberglass insulation

Stay Eco-Friendly While Cooling Off This Summer

Dealing with the summer heat can be pretty awful, especially here in the south. There’s always the option to crank up the A/C, but it’s not the optimal option for people who are trying to be more eco-friendly and kinder to the environment. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that you can beat the heat without having to break the bank or falling back too often on your air condition.

It Starts at the Top

Science taught us long ago that dark colors absorb heat, while light colors reflect it. This fact holds true in everything, including the color of your roof tiles. The darker your roof, the more of the summer heat it absorbs, warming your home throughout the day. Choosing a metal roof or painting your roof white will deflect the heat and help to keep the temperatures inside your home lower throughout the sweltering summer months.

Windows

Regardless of the type of windows in your home, during the summer you should dress them with long, black out curtains that are backed in white fabric to help deflect the sun. This is especially important for windows that face the south and west; as the sun sets, it will shine directly into the house, raising the heat levels you’re already dealing with. To combat this, you should keep the curtains closed while you are out of the house, and only open your windows at night when everything is naturally cooler.

Insulation

We cannot stress enough how important it is to insulate your home. Insulation helps to keep the cool air in your home during the summer and the warm air in during the winter, lowering your energy costs by a significant amount over your lifetime. Call Liberty Builders if your attic isn’t insulated yet as it will pay for itself in a very short time.

Ceiling Fans and Lights

If you have ceiling fans, why haven’t you turned them on yet? They don’t do much for you while you’re not in the house, but once you are home, flip them on, and the temperature in the room will drop to a comfortable level. You should also consider switching out your traditional light bulbs for LED lights. Traditional bulbs heat up quickly, and when everything around you is hot, more heat just adds to the discomfort, but LED lights remain cool and won’t contribute to your heat problem.

Battling the heat and being a responsible, environmentally conscious homeowner isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it is possible. If you have questions about how to keep your home cool this summer without overusing you’re A/C, contact Liberty Builders for tips, answers, and quotes for big projects you’ve been considering. In the meantime, plant some trees around your home because their shade will help keep your home cool, and there’s nothing greener than planting trees.