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Loving Your Little Landscape

I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.

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Loving Your Little Landscape

Get Your Home's Deck Ready For Spring

by Charlotte White

Spring is almost here, and it's time to get your home's deck ready for the warmer weather! Over the course of the winter, your deck may have developed problems with mold and rot. Even if the boards on your deck are all sound, your deck may need to be resealed to ensure that it won't become vulnerable to moisture problems during the wet spring weather. The following tips will help you prepare your deck and get it ready for the coming year.

Wash the Deck

Before you can assess your deck for damage and make any necessary repairs, you'll have to clean the wood so you can see what kind of condition it's in. Use a strong jet of water from a hose to clean any debris and dirt from the wood. Don't use a power washer, because this can damage the deck. If you see spots of mold or mildew on the wood, scrub down the moldy areas with a scrub brush dipped in a mixture of oxygen bleach and water.

Inspect for Rot and Replace as Necessary

Once you've cleaned your deck and allowed it to dry, check the boards for signs of rot. Rotten wood may be stained and dark, or may appear whitish gray, depending on whether or not the wood is afflicted by dry rot or wet rot. When you have identified parts of the deck as being potentially rotten, poke the wood with the tip of a pointed screw driver. If the screw driver can be easily inserted into the wood, then you'll know for sure that it's rotten.

When it's time to replace boards on your deck, take a sample of the wood to lumber companies in your area. Customer service representatives from the lumber companies will be able to identify the type of wood your deck is made from, so you can replace the rotten boards with wood of the same type and quality.

When putting new wood back on the deck, drill pilot holes into the planks to prevent the planks from cracking when you screw them into place. Use ceramic coated deck screws to ensure that the screws stay tight and do not rust over time.

Reseal if Necessary

Decide whether or not it's time to reseal your deck. If some of the wood on your deck became rotten over the winter, this is a good indication that your deck needs to be resealed. If your wood is in good shape and you didn't have to replace any boards, resealing may not be necessary.

To test it, wet down your deck. You'll know that the deck needs to be resealed if the wood absorbs water when it becomes wet. If the wood is properly sealed, water will bead up on the boards without being absorbed. To restain your deck, simply paint the deck in an exterior grade stain and sealer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and apply at least two coats for adequate protection.

Good luck! Following these tips, you should be able to get your deck ready for the warm weather this spring. Contact a business, such as the ML Condon Company Inc, for more information.   

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