Buyers are ready for spring and after a long, snowy winter nothing says, “welcome to your backyard” like a beautiful deck. If you are getting ready to sell, remember that a well-maintained deck is something most buyers are very attracted to. A deck offers more living space to the home, space for entertaining and relaxing, and a place to barbeque. While a deck adds value to the home, realize that not just any deck will do.
All Hands on Deck
Like anything else of beauty and value, decks require maintenance to retain their value and condition. If your deck is made of wood, it requires a regular cycle of maintenance in order to avoid discoloration and a rough surface prone to splinters. If your deck is not protected with regular staining and sealing it can start to hold in moisture, which leads to rot. Buyers will take notice of any signs of rot or lack of care, so it is important to understand what you must avoid and to repair any damages before you try to sell the property.
What are Your Deck’s Enemies?
Three things lead the way to deck decay:
Rain or moisture – Rain water seeps into the wood and causes it to expand and crack when it dries.
Sunlight – The ultraviolet rays of the sun break down the bonds between wood cells, particularly on the surface.
Insects that destroy wood – Some bugs eat wood so when building a deck you should choose a wood that is naturally resistant or ensure you use pressure treated wood with an appropriate sealant.
Clean and Reseal for Buyer Appeal
Your first impression only happens once so before buyers come to see your house, get your deck in shape.
Clean sweep: Sweep the deck of all large visible debris. Look for loose boards and nails that stick up. If the deck boards are in poor condition, you might need to sand the timber before resealing it. Make any other necessary repairs.
Swab the deck: Clean the deck by hosing it down with an appropriate cleaning solution that removes grime and debris. The deck should then be scrubbed and rinsed. Let it dry totally before you move to the next step.
Seal in the beauty: A sealant can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed on. Good quality sealants contain ultraviolet sunlight protection to reduce the damaging effects of the sun. Remember, oil sealants penetrate the wood, while film coatings form a layer on top of the wood. Oils need to be reapplied every six to twelve months, depending on environmental conditions. If you use a sealant that provides a film coating, they usually last twelve to eighteen months. Allow the sealant to dry. Products vary, but up to three coats of sealant may be needed to fully protect your deck.
Add décor: Once you have cleaned and sealed the deck it is time to add color and special touches that make it say, “welcome home”. Consider buying a large potted plant arraignment with colorful blooms and greens. Always add a fresh new doormat at the entry point to the home. Hanging baskets of flowers or a small bird feeder can be used to add visual interest. If the deck is large enough, make it into an additional dining space by adding an outdoor table and some chairs, but make certain your deck furniture is in good condition.
This can all be done over the course of a weekend and buyers will be drawn to the additional space and they will start picturing themselves enjoying the deck’s beauty as well as all the possibilities for entertaining in their new home.