While the weather may have tricked us into thinking that we’re enjoying an extended summer, the leaves are starting to turn beautiful shades of red, brown and gold. Before we know it, winter will be upon us, and we want to ensure that everyone is properly prepared for it. Seasonal changes can wreak havoc on your yard and deck if they are not properly maintained. By taking the time to conduct some simple deck maintenance now before the snow falls, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle when spring finally comes. Here are a few of our trusted tips on how to prepare and protect your deck this winter.
Sweep the deck to remove dirt and debris
If you have a lot of trees in your yard, you may get a lot of foliage falling onto your deck. Sweep away any leaves, branches, or pine needles that fall on your deck, taking extra care to remove anything that falls between the boards of the deck. Dirt and leaves can stagnate under snow, causing standing water or other moisture to sit on top of the deck rather than pass through. Ensuring there is proper ventilation is crucial to avoid the build up of moisture.
Clean your deck thoroughly to eliminate mildew
Allowing mildew to spread untreated can cause significant damage to your deck. Depending on the material of your deck, you should choose a cleaner that will remove the mildew without damaging the wood. A home improvement store will have a wide variety of different cleaners, depending on your needs – just make sure to ask for help if you aren’t sure what you require. Bleach-free cleaners specifically formulated for wood will loosen and lift dirt and restore your deck to its natural beauty without yellowing.
Use a protective finish
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your deck, it’s important to apply a water-repellent finish to protect it against the harsh effects of winter. Moisture from rain, snow, and ice can sink into an unprotected surface, causing the wood to split, crack or warp. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of premium exterior wood finishes that offer solid protection against the elements while giving the deck an aesthetically pleasing look.
If your deck will be covered with snow this winter and you are planning to shovel it off, make sure you run the shovel lengthwise on the deck boards. Shoveling across the boards can scratch the wood or cut into the deck. A plastic shovel is better to use on your deck, as it will be gentler on the wood surface than metal. If possible, avoid using salt or other ice melters on your deck as they may discolour or damage your deck finish.
If you have any questions about how to protect your deck this winter, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced and expert team. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today for a free consultation on your future fencing, deck, pergola or gazebo project.