When winterizing your home, your deck is probably the last thing you think of. After all, it won’t be hurt by a little ice, right? Wrong.
Making sure your deck is ready for winter is just as important as winterizing the rest of your home, if you want to maintain the beauty of the decking. However, not everyone knows how to properly winterize a deck. That is why we are here to help.
In this blog post, we will give you the cold, hard facts on deck winterization, allowing you to keep this important gathering place as pristine as it was when it was brand new.
1. Clean the Deck
Scrub off all those food spills from summer barbecues, as well as the ground-in dirt from foot traffic. These stains can ruin your deck’s appearance and cause the wood to degrade.
When choosing a cleaner, be careful. You want a bleach-free cleaner formulated for use on decks as these cleaners will prevent the yellowing of the wood that can occur with the use of bleach. These cleaners will lift dirt and stains, returning your deck to its natural beauty and preparing it for a new protective coating.
If you have a deck that is stained or painted, consider removing any fading and peeling paint or stain before applying a water-repellent stain or finish.
2. Finish the Deck
Your deck needs a protective finish. Apply one that is water repellent. This way, ice, snow and other moisture won’t penetrate the surface of your deck, causing splitting, cracking and warping of the wood.
Further, a protective, water-repellent finish can help make the stains from next summer’s fun activities easier to remove.
If you would like your deck to stay the same color it is now, use a clear water repellent product. If you want the maximum protection, however, there are plenty of water repellent stains out there. Choose the one that best matches your deck, or is a color you would like your deck to be, and then apply it according to manufacturer’s directions.
3. Check for Deck Stability
While you are cleaning and refinishing the deck, it is a good time to check for rot and instability. Search for splinters, loose boards, popped nails and other problems and fix these before the winter months. Also, check to make sure the gaps between deck boards are free of debris. This will allow for proper drainage of rainwater and snow melt.
- Cleaning your deck may be the last thing you think of doing before winter. However, it can really help keep the wood looking newer longer.
- Applying a water-repellent finish will not only protect your deck. It will also make next year’s summer stains easier to remove.
- Checking for deck stability and issues can also keep you safe. After all, you don’t want to allow damage to persist over the winter months.
Good luck and happy deck cleaning.