Prepping tips for spring outdoor projects

April 14 [Mon], 2014, 16:23
Soon, winter will be winding down, and homeowners will start planning ― and prepping for ― a variety of outdoor projects for spring. From cleaning, repairing or replacing decks, to creating raised beds for veggies and flowers, now is the time to start gearing up for those spring projects.
Cleaning up

Start with spring cleaning existing structures.Manage pests via organic methods Take a weekend to clean decks, gazebos and pergolas of dirt, debris, mold and mildew. For structures made of naturally durable western red cedar, a broom, garden sprayer and hose, plus a little bleach are all you need.

Sweep winter debris such as twigs and leaves from decks, taking care to clean between planks on horizontal surfaces. This facilitates airflow and drainage, and can help prevent a buildup of moisture when spring showers arrive. Next, use a garden sprayer to apply a-mild oxygen bleach solution to kill mold and mildew. Be sure to leave the bleach solution on the wood surface for approximately 30 minutes, and then rinse with water. Never use a pressure washer as it can damage the wood.
Maintenance and repair

Carefully inspect outdoor structures for wear and tear. While western red cedar contains natural preservatives that make the wood durable, all outdoor structures require annual care, including those made of pressure-treated lumber or composites.

Check planks, beams and boards for cracking, warping or rough spots and repair accordingly. Replace damaged wood, and be sure to examine hardware to ensure it’s working properly and free of rust.If you’ve always dreamed about lounging on a lovely deck on a summer afternoon, or savoring a spring morning beneath the shade of a decorative pergola, now’s the time to start planning the project.

A great deck is the showpiece of an inspired backyard, and spring is a prime time to add one. To ensure your deck affords you the most value and enjoyment, consider using an online deck planner to help you envision your deck before you begin building.