If you have a house on the beach, chances are it either came with an outdoor deck or you added one after you bought it. Beach house decks are a welcome getaway during the summertime, but it takes some work to keep them in tip-top shape. Winter weather can be especially hard on your outdoor deck, so I compiled some tips in this blog post to help you care for it even in the harshest conditions.
Constructing your deck
If you’re looking to build your own deck from scratch, or if you want to reinforce an existing deck, it’s important to take the necessary precautions. According to this article, the International Residential Code requires that “Fasteners and connectors exposed to, and located within 300 feet of, a saltwater shoreline shall be stainless steel grade 304 or 316.” This is important to note because the stainless steel components of your deck will be the most resistant to corrosion caused by saltwater. Most other materials will be more susceptible to corrosion, leading to deck failure down the road. Double-check the fasteners of your beach house deck if you think you may want to upgrade to stainless steel.
Seals aren’t just those cute, slippery animals you spot in the waves. Sealing is perhaps the most important factor in maintaining your deck, according to this article. If your deck doesn’t have a seal on it, the porous wood is just waiting to be degraded by the harsh wind, sun, rain, and saltwater of the seaside environment. When you seal your deck, that means you add a protective chemical coat over the wood, sealing in any cracks and pores that otherwise could absorb water and shorten your deck’s lifespan.
But sealing your deck isn’t a one-and-done deal. Depending on the severity of conditions by your house, you might have to reseal your deck as often as every six months. The upside to this upkeep is that you can do it yourself; there’s no need to hire an outside party to do it for you. Sealing is as simple as grabbing a paintbrush and a can of sealant and getting to work. This article recommends cleaning the surface of your deck first, then grabbing a pigmented stain to finish off the job.
Picking the best deck furniture
The whole point of having a beachfront deck is to gather your family there to enjoy it, right? One of the biggest hassles of maintaining your deck is needing to bring in your outdoor furniture whenever the weather gets rough to extend its lifetime as long as possible. The best way to circumvent that frustration, plus finding someplace to temporarily keep that furniture indoors, is to build storm-resistant furniture and nail it straight onto the deck, so you only have to bring in the cushions. This article recommends hiring a contractor to build benches right into your deck. If you seal and stain the bench, it should be capable of resisting the wear and tear of the sun, surf, and wind for years to come.