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  • Writer's pictureDunsmuir Hardware


Level: Beginner

Enjoy summer to the fullest with a spruced-up outdoor space. Get your deck, patio, and outdoor furniture ready for outdoor living.

Step 1: Check the Condition of Your Deck or Patio Cold weather can wreak havoc on outdoor surfaces. Check your patio or deck for any wear or damage it has sustained during the winter months. On wood decks, look for wood that’s splitting, twisting, or rotting. Sand splintered areas with a pole sander and hammer in any popped-up nails. Search concrete, stone, brick, and tile patios for any sign of cracks or crumbling areas. For concrete, use a putty knife or trowel to apply a vinyl patching compound to cracks in multiple layers as directed by the manufacturer. Press it firmly to force the first layer into all nooks and crannies and allow drying time between layers. If your patio is tile or brick, replace any cracked or damaged tiles or bricks with new ones.

Step 2: Clean the Patio Sweep off loose debris and clean between deck cracks using a slender stick or tool. For concrete and stone patios, remove any weeds that may have emerged in cracks or crevices. Pull them up by hand, if possible, or use a post-emergent herbicide spray to get rid of them. Use a garden hose or a pressure washer to remove dirt, dust, and other material. Spray a pan of water to push dirt and debris away. Remove any mildew from your deck with a formulated deck cleaner available at your local True Value hardware store, or use a homemade solution of 3 quarts water, 1-quart oxygen bleach and ¼-cup of ammonia-free liquid dishwasher detergent. Add this solution to a garden sprayer and apply liberally to the deck’s surface. Let the mixture sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Helpful Tip Cover any ground plants near the deck with drop cloths to protect them when spraying chemicals. Safety Alerts! If you use a pressure washer, keep the pressure setting below 1,000 pounds per square inch and hold the nozzle a few feet from the deck to avoid damaging the wood. Wear safety glasses when using a pressure washer to avoid splashing debris into your eyes. Safety Alert! Remove any insect infestations. Knockdown spider webs with a broom and use insecticide spray on stinging insect nests. Wear safety glasses and gloves when spraying insect nests. Also, leave a clear escape path so you don’t get stung. Keep children and pets away during spraying. When the coast is clear, knockdown nests with a broom or other long-handled tool and dispose of them.

Step 3: Check and Clean Patio Furniture Bring patio furniture out of storage and check it for wear or damage. Tighten bolts and screws. Wipe down each piece of furniture with damp cloths and dry them with towels. Use dish soap, water, and a scrub brush for tougher dirt and stains. Add some lubricant such as WD-40 all-purpose oil to hinges and other moving parts. If your furniture shows signs of rust, brush off as much as you can with a wire brush or sandpaper. For stubborn rust spots, try a chemical rust remover s, such as Rust-Oleum® Rust Reformer, available at your local True Value hardware store. As always, follow manufacturer instructions carefully. Safety Alert! Always wear gloves, protective goggles, and a dust mask when sanding and using chemicals. If the furniture is looking worn or outdated, consider re-staining or repainting it. For metal furniture, use a primer and paint containing rust and corrosion inhibitors, formulated for metal surfaces, such as True Value® X-O Rust Paint and Primer In-One. Wipe down cushions and pillows to remove dust or dirt that may have collected in the store. Check cleaning instructions on cushion fabric first.

Step 4: Set Up Patio Bring out your patio décor: outdoor rugs or mats, planters, lighting, and wind chimes. Next, set up your grill for summertime cookouts. Dust it off and give it a good inspection. Look for cracked or damaged hoses that connect to gas and replace them. Inspect burners and their gas tubes and make sure they aren’t worn out, rusty, or blocked by debris or spider webs. Use a pipe cleaner, toothpick, or paper clip to clean burners. Check knobs and other controls to make sure they are working properly. Tighten any loose screws or bolts. Grill replacement parts are available at your local True Value store. If your propane tank is empty, exchange it at your local True Value. Safety Alert! To avoid serious injury, be sure the propane tank is shut off at the grill before doing any kind of maintenance. Read your grill’s instruction manual for particular safety issues. Remove grates and scrub them with a wire brush to remove burnt-on particles and debris. You can also use a spray-on grill cleaner. Clean the inside and outside of the grill thoroughly with hot, soapy water and a sponge or rag. Rinse with a garden hose. Let it dry. Afterward, test the grill to make sure it works effectively. For more detailed info on cleaning your grill, see the project, Prepare Your Grill For Summer.

Step 5: Refresh Your Landscaping Touch up the landscaping adjacent to your patio or deck. Trim any overgrown branches from trees or bushes. Add fresh mulch to flower beds and around trees. Check your landscape lighting for burnt-out bulbs or damage. If necessary, add landscape lighting around the patio to accentuate its features and to provide extra light for nighttime entertaining. See the project, Landscape Lighting Ideas. Consider planting trees or shrubbery around your patio for privacy and visual appeal. You worked hard – now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy lazy summer days on the patio!

Dunsmuir Hardware is the place to go...If you can't find what you're looking for, we will do our best to order it...or if you're looking for a lifestyle change and business opportunity, we have that on offer too.

The present owners have operated the store for over 40 years and are ready to pass it on to a new owner who appreciates how special it is. Want to learn more about this amazing business opportunity? We are open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Saturday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sundays. Come and see us we are at 5836 Dunsmuir Avenue Dunsmuir, California, or call (530)235-4539.

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