Summertime is here and pleasant weather means spending more time outdoors with family and friends. Prepare for cookouts and lounging on the backyard deck by tackling a bit of maintenance ahead of time. Here are a few easy ways to make your deck safer.
Maintain Materials to Make Your Deck Safer
Your deck will need regular maintenance to keep it attractive and structurally sound. Check the railings to make sure they are sturdy and can support the weight of someone leaning on them. Inspect decking for any rotting or warped boards and replace any damaged wood. Reinstall fasteners that have worked themselves out of the materials. Sand rough spots and re-seal the wood to prepare it for another season.
Inspect for Termites
Termites and other wood-destroying insects can wreak havoc on the structural supports and other parts of a wooden deck. Look for soft spots in the wood, small holes, and piles of insect droppings, also called “frass.” Wood-destroying insects can compromise the safety of your deck and home, so call a professional if you think you have a problem.
Make Your Deck Safer with a Shaded Area
The summer sun will heat up decking materials and make surfaces too hot for bare feet or pets’ paws. To keep kids, pets, and older family members more comfortable in the heat, install an awning, use a sun sail, set up a patio umbrella, or plant a tree nearby. Creating a shady area on the deck provides a cooler place for pets to nap and friends to enjoy the outdoors.
Safe Grilling and Storage
The backyard deck is a popular place to set up for grilling burgers, hot dogs, and veggies. Take care when using the grill on the deck. Make sure the grill is level and is on a heat-resistant mat to protect the decking boards. Teach children and pets to stay several feet away from the grill at all times. When the grill is not in use, keep it covered and store all cooking utensils and fuel out of the reach of children.