Some tips to look after your deck before the snow really flies in Steamboat Springs, Colorado!

Grab your shovel you use on your deck and push it around to find any screws that snag. Grab your screw gun and either screw them back down, or better yet replace it with a new screw. Same goes for nails, pound them back in with a nail punch, or replace it with a new screw.

Come springtime, you should take the time to do the same task. Get your hands on a power washer, and hit your deck from all angles. Be careful not to get the power washing wand too close to the decking as it can cause damage to the boards.

Walk around the deck and give all the handrails and other aspects of the deck a wiggle. Tighten up some of the hardware that secures all of this. Be careful not to over tighten anything, you could split the wood.

All flat surfaces of a deck should be re-stained or painted every year. The top layer is where all the moisture hangs out and penetrates your decking. There are lots of great paints and stains available. Sometimes in an exterior application, an oil based stain is the way to go. This is especially true if the wood is already showing a bit of wear. Sherwin Williams makes some great water based products too. Water-based products offer quick, soap-and-water clean up while oil-based finishes require solvents. On the other hand, oil-based coatings offer excellent results with just one coat, while water-based finishes usually need two. Deckscapes is to be used on all flat, horizontal surfaces, decking, and Woodscapes is to be applied on all vertical surfaces. If you play your cards right you can probably get away with doing the vertical surfaces, like handrails, every other year.

Splurge and go out and invest in some polymer decking, like Trex. This is made of recycled plastic and sawdust to make a super durable product. It is a Green product, and you don’t have to spend a weekend staining your deck ever again! Choose a lighter color if you can, as it will attract less light and thus will not get as hot in the summer.

Now your deck is ready for winter!

Don’t forget to put away your deck furniture for the winter. Some people think that this stuff will be fine outside, but it is best to try to find cover for it.

Make sure to shovel your deck after each storm. Over time, this makes it much less of a task to shovel. If you let it pile up it will certainly be an arduous, back-breaking task. Get rid of it while it is light and Champagney! Also, as the snow melts, the water seeps down into the decking and underneath the framing. It will then freeze again and expand, popping deck boards and causing damage to your deck. If you ignore the snow for too long, next spring you won’t be just staining, you’ll be building a new deck!

Now, bring on powder!

Do you own a vacation home in Steamboat Springs? Do you really want to spend your summer vacations down on your hands and knees fixing your deck? Or, do you really want to have to remember to find some guy to get this done every year? Let me take care of your honey-do list so you can truly enjoy your vacation home. Contact me today for a personalized quote.

Fall is here. I am awakened by the sound of my heater firing up in the morning and the is dog especially close in bed! Winter is a ways off, but there is plenty of work to be done on my Steamboat homes before we break out the shovels and skis.

At my clients’ homes the irrigation has been blown out and the plantings in the gardens have been cut back.  The deer and elk are especially active this time of year, so we even spray deterrent on the plants to try to keep them out.

It is important to rake the leaves up and out of garden beds and off the lawn areas.  Not doing this can cause further work in the springtime as well as promote growth of funky molds.  My secret weapon in the fall is my Stihl gas powered blower.

Now is a good time to make sure that your gutters are free of leaves and debris, and that your heat tape is in good working order.  I try to wait for that first big storm to fire up the heat tape, and leave it on for the duration of the winter.  Heat tape is not that expensive to operate, and I discourage all of my homeowners from requiring it to be turned on-and-off.  Inevitably it will not be on when you need it on! Also, with our super cold nights and sunny, warm days, it does not take long to develop the dreaded ice damn.  Best to just let the heat tape do its thing and not worry about he added expense of it operating.  It is much cheaper to operate this than to have the boys up on the roof busting up an ice damn in the winter.

I like to put up lots of plow stakes to define the driveway of my clients’ homes, and to also mark any obstacles that may be hidden underneath our Champagne Powder Snow.  These stakes are cheap, and this simple exercise will save you lots of time and money in the spring as they eliminate many unnecessary repairs.

I prep for the winter by purchasing a stockpile of shear pins for your snow blower. It is also imperative to get the super premium gas for it. I assure you that it will run better!  Some of my homes have large decks.  On these decks I use Toro Powercurve snow blowers.  This is a small electric snow blower that I can leave on the decks. They’re a huge time saver!  Building codes are as such that the railing is too low on the bottom to sneak the snow underneath, and too high to try to throw over the railing! This simple practice means that I’m not trudging through my pristine, luxury homes with a large piece of machinery!

I engage my plumber or HVAC guy to have a look at any heating system that may have ever acted up.  If it is firing, then turning off, then firing again, something is wrong.  Most boilers need to run at 10 to 20 psi to run smoothly and effectively.  With all the concern about energy conservation it is important to have the largest appliance in your home running at tip top condition.  Best to have things checked out, instead of calling and needing an emergency visit from the plumber.  It is even a good idea to have your pilot light on for your fireplace, as even this tiny flame will do a lot to prevent drafts from sneaking into your home.

It’s not too late to sign-up Mountain Home Liaison services for this upcoming winter!
Contact me right away!

Sneak out and enjoy those last sunny days, and colorful leaves.

Chris Martin
DBA Mountain Home Liaison
(970) 846-1381