With fall and winter just around the corner, you need to start thinking about the use, or lack thereof, of your deck in the winter. You do not want wood rot, splintered boards, or other decking material issues on your wood deck. This short guide will instruct you in how to winterize your decking.
To get ready for the fall and winter season, the first thing you need to do is clean off your deck lumber of any twigs, branches, dirt, or any other materials that do not belong. Make sure to put away deck chairs and tables as well as any other lounging or living furniture that you do not want to be ruined from cold temperatures, ice, and snow.
The next step in winterizing your deck is to wash your decking material and deck lumber of any dirt, grime, spills, or any other types of blemishes. Taking a garden hose and spraying the outdoor decking with water should hose off any stuck on dirt and grime that is left over from summer. You will then need to use a bleach solution to your deck to remove any stains or mildew that have formed over the summer months from humidity. Your decking material should be clean and without a film to be ready for the next steps in winterizing your deck for winter.
The next step in preparing your outdoor decking for the winter season is to review your decking material and deck lumber to make sure it is in good condition. If you notice you have large cracks, broken boards, splintering, wood rot, or any other deck issue, you have decking options at your fingertips. You will need to replace the damaged boards with premier decking that can be purchased from Lowe’s, specifically for your deck. If your deck is in too poor of condition to replace all the deck flooring, you do have other decking options. Check into Trex decking. Trex decking is an alternative to standard wood deck flooring. It does not splinter or rot, and it doesn’t require any repainting or re-staining. You can find Trex decking as a decking option at your neighborhood Lowe’s as well as any premier decking you may need for your wood deck.
After you have inspected your outdoor decking for any abnormalities, it is time to stain and seal the deck flooring. This is the most important step in the whole process of winterizing your deck. Without staining and sealing the deck, you are leaving it open to cracking and warping from increased moisture from snow and ice. The deck may even freeze if there are small cracks in the wood that allows rain and ice to get in the deck. Make sure to replace lumber with premier decking if you notice any large cracks in the planks within your deck. If it is too large of a crack, sealing will do no good, and your deck will warp or freeze over the winter and be quite a hassle when you are ready to use it in the spring.
Another critical piece in keeping your deck winterized is to remove snow after a large snowstorm. Snow can be heavy, especially if it is wet, and it can cause pressure on the deck flooring. When removing snow, you want to use a broom to push the snow off the deck if at all possible. If you do not have a broom, or there is too much snow, use a plastic shovel over a metal shovel to avoid scratching the sealed wood. Another crucial tip is always to follow the boards parallel when scooping to avoid gouging the wood boards.
With the kids back in school, the leaves starting to fall from the trees, and the days getting shorter, the autumn and winter season is definitely on its way. Don’t let worry regarding your decking material ruin your fall; by following our tips on how to winterize your deck, you will be ready for the snow and ice in no time!