Your decking will most likely not survive the harshness of winter, regardless of its quality. If you have maintained it all year long, you should not slack off during winter. It pays to employ practical measures to protect your deck. This is because not all approaches will give results. Highlighted below are a few workable ways to protect your deck in winter:
Clear It Off
If you have all manner of decorations on your decking system, chances are that you will find it difficult to take them away toward winter. In case you have planters, especially heavy ones, you will loathe the idea of keeping them elsewhere. Taking clutter off your deck is important because it can expose your deck to excessive moisture. Such moisture is likely to leach into the wood and leave stains. In the case of furniture, consider stowing it away compared to simply covering it.
Clean It Thoroughly
Clearing your deck will not mean much if you leave it dirty. You have to scrub it well to remove surface dirt and debris. If there is any mold between cracks, you ought to remove it conclusively. In case you used the deck actively in summer, especially for parties, you have to clean all wine, juice, barbecue, and all other types of stains. While you can attempt cleaning such stains after winter, letting them sit all season long makes them tougher to remove. Be careful to use the right type of cleaner. If possible, avoid chemical cleaners, especially with furnished decks.
Inspect for Damage and Repair Accordingly
Regular inspections are necessary, particularly if your decking undergoes plenty of abuse. This helps catch issues before they get out of and. You should check for splits, cracks, mildew, mold, and dry rot. In case of holes and cracks, consider using a high-quality brand of wood filler. Repairing your decking before winter helps avoid the damage spreading further during the harshness of winter. This is because the rain makes the wood susceptible to bending, breakage, and rot.
Winter exposes your deck to moisture damage. Removing debris and clutter eradicates excessive moisture. However, since rainwater can still damage it, you need to seal the wood. You should also protect your deck against stains. Different types of decking systems require different types of protective coatings. Yours might also need a unique approach regarding applying the coating. Researching how best to apply coatings and stain protectants is important.
Remove All the Snow
Removing snow after a snowstorm is important for the longevity of your decking. It is essential to approach removing it cautiously. This is because scraping the surface of your wood will not only expose it to moisture but also leave unsightly marks. If the snow is light, brush it away with a broom. If you must use a shovel, choose one with a plastic blade. Avoid ice-melting products because they are likely to damage your decking material.
If you are unsure of your capabilities to prepare your deck for winter, you should consult some many deck professionals out there. Hiring a reliable one can help you prepare your deck properly for a harsh winter.