Tips to Prep Your Deck for Harsh Winter Weather

While the sun, heat, and humidity can all have an impact on your wood deck, the harsh winter weather may be the most damaging of all. The moisture from snow and ice can weaken deck boards, cause mold and mildew, and lead to wood rot. To lessen the potential damage from winter weather, it’s important to take steps to prepare your deck in the fall for the upcoming cold season. Here are some tips to help you get your deck winter ready:

Inspect your deck

As you’re preparing your lawn and garden for the months ahead, do a visual inspection of your deck first. You should have done a more thorough inspection in the spring, but you’ll want to check for any signs of damage that may have occurred over the summer. Look for signs of wood rot, mold, and mildew. You may find spots underneath furniture where moisture has hidden and weakened spots on the boards. Check the railings, footings, and stairs. Tighten up any loose hardware that you come across.

Clean and prepare

One of the most important things you can do to prep a wood deck for winter is to thoroughly clean it. Store furniture and decorative items away, or cover them up. Use a broom to sweep up any debris and dirt on the surface. You want the deck to be free of debris to prevent moisture build up, since it can cause algae growth. Look for any tough stains, like around a grill or under furnishings or potted plants. Avoid using a heavy duty power washer, as it can actually be too powerful for the deck boards. A professional cleaning is the best way to get a great result.

Seal the surface

Sealing your wood deck is absolutely essential to protecting it from sun and moisture damage, especially in the winter. A professional sealing should be done regularly to extend the life of your deck boards. It will give your deck a fresh, beautiful look that will last, as well as keep moisture at bay. Wet, snowy winters can wreak havoc on untreated wood deck boards. Have the surface sealed with a high quality product in an attractive finish.

During the winter

Once the winter weather sets in, you’ll still need to do some upkeep. Clear off snow and ice as soon as you can to prevent it from sitting on the deck boards for too long. Take care not to damage the wood with a shovel. Instead, try to sweep or push the snow off first. A large push broom is the best option. However, it’s important to mention that you should not sprinkle salt or ice removing products on your deck, as they can damage the surface.

Proper care and regular maintenance can extend the life of your wood deck. Take these steps to protect it as best as you can from the harsh winter weather. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your deck is in good shape once spring rolls around.

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