With warmer weather right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for homeowners throughout the Portland and Vancouver area to review their outdoor decks, patios, and balconies for winter damage and think about ways to create a more enjoyable, durable space.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of reviewing your outdoor space through the eyes of a contractor and transforming it into an area that meets your needs, stands up to the elements, and is a space you and your family can fully enjoy.

Let’s get started!


Consider Your Needs

How do you currently use your outdoor space? How do you wish you could use it? These are the first questions to ask yourself as you think about improving your deck or patio.

For example, do you enjoy hosting dinner parties or brunches? Does your patio double as a play area for your kids? Do you simply need a comfortable space to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning?

Depending on your needs, there are some important things to consider…

Spaces Focused on Comfort

For small spaces meant for enjoying a cup of coffee or watching the sunset with a glass of wine, special focus should be given to comfortable seating and overall aesthetics.

Family-Friendly Spaces

For a space that will be used by the whole family, safety is a primary concern. You’ll want to ensure proper railings are installed, the flooring material is slip free, and any cracked tiles or chipped wood is repaired. Don’t forget to make sure potential dangers are properly sealed or out of reach – for instance, hot tubs or fireplaces.

Spaces for Entertaining

If you’d like to use your deck or patio for more formal entertaining, your space should have plenty of seating, high-quality flooring, protection from the rain, and perhaps even upscale features like a fireplace or built-in BBQ or sink.


Plan for the Seasons

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to experience the best of every season. Though we do get an above average amount of rain, we also see hot and sunny days in the summer, and snow and ice in the winter.

While the change in seasons is nice, it can also mean bad news for your outdoor space. Over time, these changes in weather – and especially constant rain – will wreak havoc on your beautiful deck or patio, and cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Spring is a great time to review your deck or patio to learn how well it’s holding up to the elements. Here’s what to look for:

  • Rotting Wood – If your deck or patio is made of wood, you may notice rot or mold starting to build up. Another telltale sign is sagging floors.
  • Cracked concrete or tiles – Cracks in concrete can occur with extreme changes in temperature or too much water exposure.
  • Discoloration – Areas that receive too much sun exposure will change colors.
  • Leaks or flooded areas – Standing water on your deck or patio is not only slippery, it can also lead to structural issues.
  • Brittle surfaces – Furniture or other items can become cracked and brittle when left to endure the elements.

As you think about improving your space, here’s how you can prepare for and prevent these issues.

Proper Coverage

Make sure your outdoor space has at least some overhead protection. Whether it’s an umbrella, awning, or roof, giving your space some relief from the weather is a great way to reduce issues.

Weatherproof Furniture and Fabrics

Choose outdoor furniture and fabrics that are comfortable and can endure the elements. Some of the most durable types of outdoor furniture includes:

  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Wicker
  • Wrought Iron
  • Wood (must be finished and needs regular maintenance)


Make sure your patio or deck is made from a strong material and has a waterproof coating. This will keep your space secure and save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the long run.

Waterproofing can be performed on wood, tile, and concrete decks, is lightweight, and requires little to no long-term maintenance. There are also various finishes and texture options available, so you can make sure the floor fits with your style.


We waterproofed over 150 decks last year– we can help you, too.
See Our Case Studies


Address Unique Challenges

Every home is unique, and when it comes to planning your outdoor space, you’re sure to come across your own specific set of challenges. These can range from the size of your space and privacy issues, to utility installation problems.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these and how you might address them.


If you’re working with a small space, avoid overcrowding by planning ahead for traffic flow. Make sure there’s a natural pathway in and out of your space. Choose one primary focal point instead of many, and avoid overstuffing your patio or deck with too many furnishings or utilities.


Consider the proximity of your neighbors. Is your outdoor space fully visible? Would you and your family feel more comfortable with more privacy? Decide if special features need to be added to allow for full enjoyment of your space, such as a fence or landscaping options.

Utility Installation

How well is your space set up for utilities? For example, if you plan on installing a BBQ, sink, or fireplace, do you have access to a gas line and plumbing? Even if you don’t want any permanent utilities, you’ll at the very least need access to an electrical outlet.


Make it Yours

You’ve planned ahead to ensure a durable and safe outdoor space, now it’s time to put on the finishing touches to make it a place you’ll truly enjoy spending time in.

This could be adding mood lighting, comfortable pillows and cushions, plants, flowers, and other decorative features. Make it yours and feel proud of all your hard work!


Ready to Protect Your Outdoor Space?

Our team at Rock Solid Waterproofing has years of experiencing working with homeowners throughout Portland and Vancouver to waterproof and resurface their balconies, decks, and patios.

Our team is fully licensed and insured and offers a variety of options to meet your needs, including:

  • Ceramic or stone over a waterproof base
  • Heat-welded PVC or Hypalon
  • Acrylic base with cosmetic finish
  • Basic urethane waterproof coating

We take special care to listen to your needs, explain your options, and help you make the best decision for your outdoor space.


Learn More about Our Patio, Balcony & Deck Waterproofing Services
Or call us at (503) 245-3313