Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Protect Your Deck from the Weather

Sun, rain, and temperature changes take their toll on the exposed wood of a deck. Here are ways to prevent weather-related problems.


Water is a deck's greatest enemy, finding and penetrating any weak spots or openings in the wood, such as exposed edges, nail or screw holes, splits, knots, and cracks. If the wood isn't protected by a waterproofing sealer, it's prone to rot. Though cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine resist rot better than other woods, all decks eventually show some water damage. If water seems to soak into your deck after a rainstorm instead of beading, it probably needs to be sealed. Most decks need to be resealed every year or two.


Even if the wood is sound, decks in damp climates or heavy shade can take on a mossy patina. Dirt, leaves, needles, and other material accumulate on the deck, allowing slippery mold and mildew to form. You can usually remove this layer of mold by scrubbing with a deck cleaner or mild bleach solution. To prevent further buildup, sweep the deck often and use a crevice tool to remove debris from between boards. You can use a garden hose with sprayer to rinse off dirt, but be careful with power washers -- they can damage wood.


Baking sun not only fades wood, but also dries it out, making it susceptible to water retention and rot. If your deck is dry and faded, a deck-brightening solution can help rescue the wood's natural color. Once your deck regains some color, protect it from further damage by applying a penetrating deck finish containing UV inhibitors, compounds that disrupt the chemical reactions cause by ultraviolet light.

Temperature changes

Freeze-thaw cycles in winter and extreme heat in summer put stress on wood, causing boards to expand, contract, and shift. The most common signs of this movement are popped-up nails. If pounding nails down doesn't keep them from popping back up, try replacing them with new, longer nails or deck screws. Always choose corrosion-resistant fasteners for deck boards.


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