How to Maintain or Fix your Deck or Patio

Warm weather and a beautiful backyard deck is a pair that any summer day enthusiast loves. Being able to kick back and enjoy the outdoors in your own summer oasis is one of the many perks of having a backyard deck. But, what happens when that beautiful deck is not so beautiful anymore? Paint chips, the finishes fade, and wood rots and cracks. These aging elements, along with many other variables, lead to your backyard patio paradise falling into disrepair. These issues can become even worse if you as the deck owner do not have the tools or the skills to mend them.  Not only is an aged deck unsightly, but also rotten or broken boards can be a huge safety risk.

To all you homeowners with wooden decks and lacking the tools, or have just moved into a home with a deck that’s falling apart, there is a reliable solution out there very close to you! If you are missing the specific tools, purchasing them can often be too expensive to work into your repair budgets.  Because of the unattainable cost for tools, deck issues often go unrepaired. If you are a homeowner with a front porch or backyard deck that is no longer looking its best, and you lack the tools to fix or improve it, then resorting to the “sharing economy” model is a perfect solution to your backyard woes. The sharing economy is the concept of people within communities borrowing and renting the needed resources that are owned by others. Resources that fall into this “expensive and not often used” category are the power tools often needed to repair decks. But what happens if you strive to network, and cant find a simple means to phase yourself into the nearby sharing community to get the repair tools that you need?

Simple apps like NearJobs can be used as a communication tool specifically made to connect you with your community to get hands from those who can fix your backyard deck or lend you the instruments you need to fix up the decks. Some homeowners, who may not be very handy, usually have a small toolbox with at least the basic tools, such as a hammer, a screwdriver set, a level measuring tape, and pliers. Sadly this basic assortment of tools will not be enough to safely and efficiently repair a wooden backyard deck. The following is a list of necessary power tools that should be used when repairing an old front porch deck. This list was compiled with the help of carpenter Ryan Regan, of Decks & Fences by Ryan. Ryan stated that some of the following tools are a must have when doing woodwork at home:

1) Circular saw – will cut through wood easily and in a straight line

cuircular saw_work_from_home

2) Jig saw – this saw is used to make curved or rounded cuts

jig_saw_work_from_home

3) Power drill & bits – needed to secure screws, often cordless

4) Nail gun & air compressor – speeds up the job of nailing tenfold

5) Orbital sander – this handheld sander is used during the finishing process  

(These five tools alone would be around $800 to purchase.) Ryan also went on to talk about the maintenance that comes with owning a deck, “With in the first two years of installation the decreasing moisture content of pressure treated wood often leads to natural cracking and splitting. And usually after about five years you may start to see some rotting.” These processes are natural, but for the homeowner, this means that they will have to find the time to fix them in order to maintain a safe and beautiful deck in their backyard. Many homeowners do not have access to these tools, but thankfully there are options for people stuck in this situation. Thanks to the sharing economy, your toolbox can expand to your neighbors and other community members. If you do not have preexisting connections with people around you this is your easiest solution: NearJobs, its virtual registry of users in your area are ready and willing to help. With a few simple clicks and posting your deck images you can have the tools rented or lent to you or get a hand from an expert next door, making all of your deck repairs an achievable work. Stay tuned for the next installment of this two part article that will detail how to fix your deck even if you do not have the carpentry knowledge to do so!