With Mother Nature teasing us all with hints of warm weather, now is the perfect time to inspect your patio or backyard deck to ensure it’s all set for summer. Even the strongest and most resilient outdoor flooring can succumb to the elements, potentially resulting in mildew, cracked tile flooring, and other frustrating patio/deck problems.
As annoying as these problems can be, most of them can easily be fixed by DIY beginners. Without further ado, here are some of the more common patio/deck repairs and how you can fix them before summer arrives.
1. Inspect and Repair Damaged Decking
Perform a thorough inspection of your deck and keep on the lookout for rotten boards, and inspect for damage, splintered wood, broken nails, and warping. Repairing your deck can be as easy as hammering a few nails back into place or it can require you to replace entire sections of your wood decking.
If you come across rotten boards or heavy water damage, you’ll need to replace the boards immediately. However, if the rot or water damage is extensive, you may be looking at new deck replacement entirely.
2. Clean Off Mold, Mildew, and Algae
Mold, mildew, and fungi, in general, are common issues with several different types of decking, including composite and traditional wood decking. While some homeowners may be tempted to shrug off their mold problem, there is a good reason why you shouldn’t let it go ignored. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can be easily carried into your home by attaching itself to clothing, pets, and bags.
To get the mold off your backyard deck, use a light degreaser such as Dawn dish soap and scrub it on your deck using a bristle brush. Rinse your deck off with a garden hose or use a pressure washer to get rid of both the mold and the remaining soap.
If soap and water don’t do the trick, you can buy a mold remover from your local home improvement store. Just make sure that it’s designed specifically for your decking material, to avoid causing accidental damage to your backyard deck.
3. Check for Cracks in Outdoor Flooring
Whether you’ve got a small chip in your tile flooring or a crack in your concrete patio, the problem needs to be addressed. Small cracks can turn into bigger problems if you don’t take care of the issue.
Fortunately, cracked tiles are relatively easy to replace, especially if you were smart and kept a few extra tiles from your tile flooring installation. Simply remove the chipped or damaged tile, prepare the floor for the next tile, and set the new tile in its place.
Dealing with non-structural cracks in patio concrete is another simple fix you can knock out rather quickly. All you need is a caulking gun, a putty knife, and a polymer-based filler, and you can patch your cracked concrete in no time.
4. Remove Pesky Weeds
When you’ve spent precious time and money installing patio pavers in your backyard, the last things you want to see are weeds growing in between them. The best way to stop weeds from ruining the look of your beautiful pavers is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Properly installing pavers and sweeping the area regularly can go a long way toward helping combat weeds. If you’re already dealing with them, there are a few methods you can use to remove them:
- White Vinegar – Reach for white vinegar in your pantry and create your own weed-killing concoction to spray on the weeds. White vinegar is safe to use on pavers and is an eco-friendly method of fighting weeds.
- Pressure Washer – Deep clean your patio pavers while removing pesky weeds by using a pressure washer on your patio. Just be careful to use a lower pressure and to hold the nozzle at least a foot away from the pavers to avoid surface degradation.
- Crack Scrapers – Finally, you can use a crack scraper to get into the cracks between your pavers and remove the weed from the root. These tools have an L-shaped blade that allows you to get in there and remove most—if not all—of the weed and root.
5. Fix Sunken Pavers
Sunken pavers not only ruin the charm of your beautiful patio, they can lead to drainage problems that may cause further damage. Fortunately, the fix for sunken pavers is one that any DIY homeowner can do.
Simply wiggle out the offending pavers or bricks and use sand to bring the material back up to the right level. Use a leveler to ensure that your new paver is level with the rest of your pavers.
Add the Finishing Touches
Finally, don’t dismiss the importance of sprucing up your patio or backyard deck with fresh décor! A new patio furniture set for your deck or a stylish rug for your paver patio can instantly revamp the space and create a warm, inviting place for your guests.
Have a patio/deck problem we didn’t cover in this post? Check out our Learning Center for more articles or get in touch with us. We’ll help you find the right solution for any outdoor flooring issue, big or small.