Although leaves make great decorations and scenery for the fall, they don’t belong on your deck. With the ripe variety of trees across New England, we know that keeping the leaves from accumulating on your porch or deck can seem like a full-time job. SEAL-A-DECK wants to help you to understand why certain factors like leaves are hazardous to your deck and what you can do to avoid the damage.
In just a week, one of the first things you will notice when leaves are left on your deck is that they can stain your decking materials. Leaves from any type of tree have natural oils in them from the tree they come from. When they are no longer part of their tree, they begin to decay and the acidity in them can break down the deck sealant and leave stains regardless of the material type of your deck.
Each type of tree species can leave a unique type of stain too, and they can vary depending on what type of material the leaf lands on. For example, patios are the more porous and should be tended to expeditiously. As the SF Gate Home Guide says “tree oils are difficult to remove and often seep into porous materials. It is important to note that not all stains are easily removed and some may require professional care”. The longer you have the leaves on your deck, the harder it will be to remove them, especially on porous material.
If leaves are left on your deck for any length of time, you could start to see wood rot from the decaying foliage. Not only do the leaves themselves mold, but they also trap water. Moisture that cannot properly drain from your deck could be standing long enough to destroy the wood. Your deck has enough to go through during the winter. Don’t make deck maintenance harder with unnecessary debris and an overabundance of falling leaves. Remove it as soon as possible for better results and fewer issues and repairs.
Another thing you’ll need to worry about during the unrelenting New England winter is falling hazards and persistent snow. Snow itself can be quite heavy. According to Reference.com, “a cubic foot of settled snow weighs 12.49 to 18.73 pounds. A cubic foot of wind-packed snow weighs 21.85 to 24.97 pounds”. This can be a significant increase in the load that your deck’s substructure must hold. Although leaves may not seem heavy at first glance, the weight quickly adds up. Once the weight of snow is added to them, they can collapse your deck. It is better to have a plan in place to remove leaves, especially before snowfall.
By working as a team, SEAL-A-DECK and homeowners can get your deck ready for the leaves and snow that winter will bring. We recommended sweeping or leaf blowing at least every week during the fall months. If you are unable to do this yourself, give us a call at 877-SEALADECK and ask about our Advantage Plan and deck maintenance options. We want to make deck ownership as easy on our customers as possible. For your deck to make it to spring working and looking its best, it will take effort, but will be worth it when you’re able to enjoy your deck again.