Chicago Living: An Ode to Our Porches

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Is that…the sun? Chicagoans are no strangers to the seemingly never-ending winter, but as the real warm weather approaches, it’s time to make sure our porches and patios are in prime condition. So what does “prime condition” really mean?  What can a Fixer help you with? And what porch or deck maintenance can be done to help things stay in top shape all year round? Check this guide to see if it may be time to book a Fixer or porch professional.

Sweet Home Chicago, where the winter is not a porch’s friend.

Let’s face it.  Winter is really tough on porches and decks - especially with all of these Polar Vortexes and other frigid temps. But, interestingly, it’s not necessarily the cold temps that cause most of the structural problems or cracks in the wood, it’s actually the weight of the snow. Heavy loads of snow and falling ice can cause your porch to sag under the weight. Additionally, all of that moisture sitting on the deck can cause the wood to splinter if not treated properly, so it’s always a good idea to inspect your deck each spring.

Here are some things to look for in your personal inspection:

  • Are there any loose railings or broken spindles?

  • Any areas of the deck where it feels “bouncy” or you hear wheezing or cracking sounds?

  • Is there any movement on the deck when you stomp or otherwise walk from one side to the other?

  • Other issues include mold or moss buildup, splintering wood, or just general drab color.

Is this a DIY job?

If your personal inspection reveals some areas of concern, there are some things you can do yourself to remedy. Applying a good deck sealant can help protect the wood, as well as replacing any rotten or splintered boards to keep things in tip top shape. Fixer can help with most non-structural repair issues  on porches or decks. You’ll need a permit and a specialist for any structural work on multi-family structures like condos, duplexes, or apartments - and the City of Chicago has some pretty specific requirements for permits if you need to get structural work done.


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So what can a Fixer help me with?

Fixer is always here to help. Whether you need assistance with refreshing your deck or porch or something a bit more labor intensive, Fixers can assist with:



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What does porch or deck maintenance look like year-round?

Just like going to the doctor for a check-up, your porch or deck needs occasional check-ins too. Use this helpful guide to maintain your outdoor spaces and prevent major issues in the future.

Spring/Summer

When we’re coming out of the permafrost of winter, it’s a good time to power wash, sand, seal, and stain your deck.

Check for signs of damage or rot to your wood fixtures - both on what you can see and on the structures that support the deck (for example, the ledger, which connects your deck to your house). Tighten up loose railings.

Fall

Fall is a great time to check for rot – sweep away any debris that might get trapped under snow and discolor the surface.

Winter

With heavy snowfall, shovel your deck. The more weight you can keep off your porch or deck in the winter, the less damage you will have to deal with come spring.

Fixers can help you with your porch or deck maintenance request and get the job done quickly and skillfully.  Book a Fixer at a time that’s convenient for you.