While Calgary’s population density is considerably less than other major Canadian cities, it’s still hard to find cost effective ways to generate extra space for you and your family. A full home extension is out of many people’s budgets, while a simple internal remodelling might only yield a few extra square meters. It’s at this point that Calgary homeowners should be looking to their outside area as a way to capture more living space. The most popular way to create some extra room outside is to install a deck.
Your deck should be the central focus of your outdoor entertaining space. It provides the halfway space between your indoor area and your garden, providing a place to sit and watch the activity in the yard while being close enough to the kitchen to get snacks and drinks at your leisure. As the jewel in your outdoor crown, therefore, your deck should be at the top of your spring maintenance list to keep it in prime condition all summer long. The type of maintenance you’ll need to do will depend on whether your deck is open to the elements all year long, or whether you have some form of patio cover to keep it safe.
Typical deck maintenance
If you don’t have a patio cover for your deck, your annual maintenance checklist becomes extensive. Some of the additional projects that you’ll need to worry about without a patio cover include:
- Cleaning between the boards – living in what feels like the windiest city in the world, you’ll know that the Calgary winds bring dirt and debris with them all year long. As you start to prepare your uncovered deck for the season, you’ll have to spend extra time power washing the deck and getting down in between each board to make sure that any accumulated dirt is removed. This will help to prevent unwanted growths and the risk of rot due to persistent dampness.
- Re-staining faded boards – over time, the strong Calgary sun will cause the original stain on your boards to fade if you don’t have a patio cover to provide year round shade. This will mean that you’ll have to cordon off your deck each spring as you touch up the stain. You’ll also be reliant on the same colour stain being available year on year and this is by no means guaranteed as stain companies always upgrade and change their colour palette.
- Replacing storm damaged boards – the long winters in Calgary never seem to end, and the damage they bring can continue long after the final snow has melted from your deck. If it’s not covered by a patio cover, you’ll find that water gets between the boards and then freezes and expands. This will cause damage to the boards over time, which will mean that you’ll have spend time each spring testing each board to make sure it’s secure, and going through the tricky business of unscrewing and replacing it with an exact replica.
It seems obvious by now that you can save yourself a lot of time and money each spring by investing in a patio cover for your deck. A patio cover is a permanent structure that attaches to your home and extends out across your deck. It’s supported on the opposite side by posts or columns and you get to choose whether the roof is solid or lattice to allow some sunlight in. In either case, the sides of your new space are left open to allow the warmth and breezes of summer into your new entertaining space, while the roof offers you excellent protection.
Not only will you get protection from the sun and wind during the summer, but it will provide an automatic defence against storm, sun and dirt damage during the months that you can’t get out there. The best thing about patio covers is that once they are in place, they require little maintenance, or zero if you choose ones made from aluminum or vinyl. They’re a cheap way to protect your deck and Desert Sun Patios can get your patio cover installed before summer arrives if you call today.
Typical Deck Maintenance With A Patio Cover
For true comparison purposes, it’s worth looking at your spring maintenance checklist once you’ve got a patio cover installed:
- Removing winter debris from the roof – a patio cover does an excellent job of protecting your deck from the snow and debris of winter such as leaves and dirt. While most of this will slide off as spring melts the ice, you’ll still want to spend half a morning with a long handled broom cleaning the roof of your patio cover. Finish the job with a pressure washer or a high powered hose to get any stubborn pieces down.
- Sweeping the boards – with the rest of the morning, you will need to sweep off any loose leaves or dirt that has blown in under your patio cover. Make sure to use a ladder safely, getting assistance with holding it sturdy, or consider hiring professionals to clear your patio cover for you. Again, this job will require a minimum amount of time as your patio cover will protect your deck from most of the ravages of winter.
- Rearranging the furniture – finally, with the time and effort that you save with a patio cover, you can work out how to remodel your new space. Leaving heavier pieces of furniture like your grill or couches in one place can leave dents and bend the boards of your deck slowly over time. Not only will find a new configuration for your furniture make your deck feel new, but it will also extend the lifespan of your outdoor entertaining space.
It’s clear to see that there’s no comparison when it comes to installing a patio cover. You’ll save hours each spring in deck maintenance and dramatically reduce your deck replacement costs over the years to the point where a patio cover pretty much pays for itself. Make today the day you take a positive step forward with your deck maintenance and call Desert Sun Patios to talk about your patio cover project.