As cooler weather approaches, have you already begun preparing your deck before the cold winter months? In the same way you prepare your house every year to save on heating costs and prevent other damages to your property, it is equally vital to winterize your deck for the harsh winter weather.
You don’t want to wait until the snow starts blowing before you take care of the essential repairs and inspections that should have been done months ago, do you? During the long winter season, mold, mildew, stains, and rot can all cause costly damage to your deck. When the first warm spring days arrive, the last thing you want to see is additional work or costs before enjoying your deck.
So what can you do in the winter to take care of your deck? Here are a few deck preparation tips for you:
Tip #1: Clean your deck thoroughly
The most fundamental step is clearing everything off your deck, from leaves to twigs to all sorts of clutter. Sweep away any accumulated debris you see and give the surface a thorough scrub using a deck cleaning solution. This is so you can easily spot any damage you haven’t noticed before and repair it quickly.
It also helps to remove debris that has accumulated over time on your deck, especially between the floorboards, because, in the winter, this debris allows snow and ice to build up and lock in moisture, causing structural and integral damage to your deck.
Tip #2: Store Outdoor Items
You may want to bring in your outdoor appliances, furniture, and anything else indoors in case of a severe storm or heavy snowfall that will harm them. You will also be able to clean your deck much easier without anything in the way. There’s also the option of covering the objects with a tarp. However, keeping everything off the deck is still recommended, as moisture will gather in the items’ surroundings.
Tip #3: Complete Deck Repairs ASAP
After you’ve cleaned up your deck, it’s essential to assess the condition of all the parts and consider restorations. Check the top surface as well as the joists for anything amiss. Inspect other areas where mildew and mold often grow to determine if any boards need replacing.
It’s best to immediately replace broken boards or sections of your deck and not wait until spring, as there’s a chance they will continue to break down during winter if left unrepaired. This can lead to injury if you go out on your deck and step in the wrong spot.
Some other factors can also severely affect your deck’s condition. Temperature and humidity fluctuations, sun radiation, fungi, mold, insects, and solar radiation all have adverse effects on wooden decks.
The following are five common deck issues that you should watch out for and consider repairing:
● Deck Rot
● Discolored Deck
● Slippery Decking
● Termite Damage
● Broken Deck Boards
You should also look for loose railings or footings and tighten up any hardware that could compromise your deck over winter.
Calling professional deck contractors is the best option when you doubt checking the damage and repairing it yourself. They have a keen eye for weakened spots on your deck and the necessary skills and experience to repair or rebuild any section. They can also give you very helpful ideas for strengthening your winter deck.
Tip #4: Seal & Finish Your Deck
Sealing and finishing your deck serves a significant role in protecting your deck. You should perform deck upkeep items like these every 2-3 years to protect the lumber from rain, snow, ice, and the sun’s UV rays. As decks are subject to moisture penetration, which can cause warping, cracking, splintering, and rot, coating them will seal the wood from any moisture that tries to seep inside.
With its excellent finish, your deck will last longer, providing you with more fun in the spring and summer. During the winter, moisture and low temperatures can significantly damage natural wood, but these factors will not affect protected wood.
Tip #5: Cover Your Deck
Now that the deck has been cleaned, repaired, and sealed, you will need to cover it up before winter really starts. To ensure the deck is covered, use a tarp and cover as much as possible. A tarp on your deck will prevent debris from directly piling on the surface and growing mold there. It will also help keep it clean and tidy over the colder months.
Looking for professional help preparing your deck for the winter?
If you reside in Cape May County, New Jersey, and are looking for deck restoration, installation, or maintenance, know that there’s a team of reliable deck contractors. Here at All Pro Cape May Deck Builders, we are ready to tend to your needs. Our team consists of experienced deck builders who can provide a detailed description of your deck’s current condition.
The efficiency and safety of our services are always on point. Give us a call at 609-739-7296 for a free quote on our services!