As winter’s harsh weather fades and we start looking forward to enjoying the outdoors again, one thing that’s sure to be on everyone’s to-do list is sprucing up those exterior decks. This is the ideal time to take a look at how your deck made it through the winter, and to do a little cleaning and maintenance to get things ready for an enjoyable summer season.

The first job is an inspection. If you haven’t already done so as part of your annual spring checklist, you need to take the time to really give your deck a thorough checkup. Look for loose or missing screws and nails. Tighten loose nuts and bolts in railings and stairs. Examine the condition of all the wood, looking for cracks, splinters, dry rot and other signs of structural problems. If you discover anything of concern, those things need to be dealt with prior to doing any cleaning work.

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