A Splinter-Free Deck for a Carefree Summer

An old deck in need of treatmentAvoid splinters by properly maintaining your deck this summer. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Splinters from decaying decks are downers. Here’s how to stop — and recover from — a deck attack.

There’s nothing worse than walking around your deck and winding up with feet full of splinters; worse, having to yank out tiny shards from kid knees and hands.

That happened to us when our infant son, Ben, practiced his crawling on our older deck. We were horrified to find our only child looking like a porcupine with splinters hanging from his legs and hands.

We rushed him to the pediatrician, sure the next call would be to Social Services. But our doc had seen this thing before and expertly plucked out the splinters.

If you have to be the doc, this article on how to remove splinters with minimal fuss and muss is quite useful.

But the best way to handle splinters is to not get them in the first place by maintaining your deck. Your options for a splinter-free deck are varied.

We’re pretty impressed with the budget-friendly options The Pragmatist at The New York Times came up with, such as covering your deck with tile or the new mold-resistant outdoor carpeting.

He had another point that’s worth mentioning: Several deck experts told him that most home owners have a tendency to turn their decks into plant nurseries and don’t think about livability. Your deck is another room in your home. Treat it that way by making it comfortable place to hang out.

Which brings us back to our original point: A splintered deck is not a fun place to hang. So do something — anything — about it. You’ll be happy you did.

Oh, by the way, don’t forget that today is National Garden Exercise Day. So, after you’ve addressed your deck, go dig a new garden bed or pull some weeds.

What have you done to make your deck livable and splinter-free?