5 Savvy Tips For Giving Your Deck A Much Needed Refresh

Homeowners all across the United States enjoy the unique relaxation that comes along with the incorporation of a decking feature. Decks offer a window into the exterior space surrounding the home and can be used as a versatile relaxation or hosting space to great effect (via Zephyr Thomas).

Maintenance on a deck can be time-consuming, though. These outdoor spaces require cleaning and general upkeep in the same way that an indoor area of the property would. Yet with the added element of unpredictable weather, the time spent maintaining this part of the home can rise far above that of any other area.

A well-maintained deck is a fantastic asset for your home and family, but a poorly cared-for addition can be the bane of your existence. Rough edges, splinters, and aging lumber can make for an eyesore and potential safety hazard. With these five tips, it's easy to refresh the look and feel of your deck for a totally revamped experience with this amazing feature that expands the potential of so many homes.

Maintain a strict refinishing schedule

Refinishing your deck's outer surface is the first stop on the way to refreshing the space. Decks are built out of lumber or composite materials that require consistent care across their lifespan. SealSmart reports that a homeowner should reseal their deck at least once every three years, but engaging in this refinishing process every year will ensure the best possible results for many long years to come.

Because a deck is exposed to the elements, it is consistently being rained on, stepped across, and battered by the UV radiation of the sun. In the same way that humans put sunscreen on their bodies when going outside, the exposed wood of your decking needs a layer of protection as well. Sanding and resealing your deck on a regular basis is the best way to ensure longevity and consistent comfort every time you use the space.

As a result, if your deck has seen better days, the first line of defense when trying to refresh the space should be with this task. Resealing your deck isn't actually a very difficult job and can be done with an electric sander and painting equipment over the course of a single day or weekend.

Consider upgraded appliances and furniture

Another option for improving the comfort level and quality of your decking space is the addition of upgraded appliances or furniture. New additions to the space can dramatically transform the utility value that the deck provides to you and your family. New furniture can reimagine the aesthetic of your deck and bring it back to life if the overall environment has become dull and dated.

Many homeowners choose to incorporate exterior cooking equipment in their decking space, and this is a great option for anyone looking to boost its utility value. Whether you already have a grill outside or not, adding a few key elements here can make a world of difference (via Energysavers). A new grill can inspire confidence when it comes to tackling new dishes or ways of preparing a meal for the family or guests. Another great option is the addition of refrigerator space. A mini fridge can go a long way to improving the general utility of the space by bringing a convenient way to store drinks and other staples of outdoor living rather than keeping them at a distance.

Incorporate shade elements

The importance of shade is often underestimated when it comes to deck renovations and general layout concerns. Shade is a crucial aspect of comfort when sitting outside for any duration. Homeowners who live in warm areas often recognize the importance of shaded spaces, as the addition of shade can drop the perceived temperature drastically. The Chicago Tribune notes that temperatures are always taken in the shade because direct sun exposure translates into additional heat registered on the thermometer, and the feeling of additional heat on your skin. Put simply, this means that shade allows you to escape from the brunt of the sun's intense heat.

Yet even as homeowners understand the importance of incorporating shaded spaces into their lawns, gardens, and other areas of exterior living, they forget to include this design feature in their decking far too easily. Shade comes in all shapes and sizes and a simple awning or umbrella setup can be all it takes to create an entirely new and immensely relaxing space in the decking area.

Focusing on the addition of shade might seem obvious, but for many, this feature goes unnoticed and can therefore make an enormous difference when it comes to refreshing the exterior component of your home.

Manage pest problems at their source

Pest problems are also a major concern for homeowners who spend time outdoors. Pests come in a variety of different forms, and depending on where your home is located, you may be facing issues with bugs or larger intruders like possums and raccoons. Managing pest issues is a big part of maintaining a high quality of life in your exterior space. For many, common mosquitoes are a big issue in the fall and spring, in particular. Yet, mosquito control is entirely possible; using citronella candles is a great way to approach this problem with a natural solution, for example.

Mosquitoes are naturally warded off by citronella, according to MindBodyGreen; however, candles aren't the most effective way to disburse the essential oil. This means that candles incorporating citronella are a good basic option for protecting your relaxation space from flying pests, but should be augmented with torches and other additions. Planting lemongrass can give you the same effect without having to continuously buy new citronella candles or torches every season, and a healthy plant can produce a plume of protective scent for your decking without any added input on your part. Lemongrass comes in a number of varieties and is the plant whose extract is used to make these candles in the first place.

Alternatively, for those with rodent problems, taking the time to investigate any rotting food or plant material underneath or near your decking can help you eliminate the issue.

Create mood lighting for a new ambiance

Mood lighting is one more option that homeowners can take advantage of when seeking to transform the aesthetic and value of their exterior space. There are a whole host of solar-powered lights that homeowners can install around or above their decking space to incorporate both money-saving and visually stunning lighting elements that make a huge impact on the atmosphere of the deck.

A change in the way you light your exterior space can make a big difference in the look and feel of the area. TCP Lighting reports that light and color (created by the type of lights you've installed in any particular space) play a significant role in forming generalized mood patterns. Lights are often overlooked as a key aspect of an exterior space because half the day is spent in natural light. It can be easy for a homeowner to simply install basic lighting elements that provide the bare minimum in illumination during the evenings and nighttime. But lights that set the mood can go a long way in creating the kind of environment that makes you want to spend even more time in this exterior space of your home.