Preparing Your Deck for Winter
Winter’s coming, and if you don’t prepare your deck for it now, you could be paying for it later. Winter deck preparation is easier and cheaper than springtime deck repairs, so use these tips to get your deck in tip top shape for the coming cold months.
Do an inspection
You’ve probably been using your deck less and less as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, so take a little extra time to really inspect your deck for signs of damage, including loose boards or broken panels. Repair any damaged parts of your deck and fill any cracks with wood filler to prevent water from getting inside and freezing, causing further damage.
Clean it up
Use a cleaner with a fungicide and mildew remover built in. This will take care of any mildew or mold that may be growing on the deck and prevent it from coming back during the winter. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing three cups of water with one cup of bleach and adding a couple of tablespoons of dish soap. Mix together and clean the deck, scrubbing away any tough dirt and grime.
Apply a protective finish to help keep moisture from warping the boards of your deck. Ice and snow could sit on your deck for days or weeks, so it’s important that the wood is protected throughout the winter. Be sure that if you have to remove snow from your deck you sweep it off instead of shoveling it, or you could damage the wood with the shovel.
Store your furniture and planters
Anything left on the deck can leave a stain when the spring comes, so clear off pots and planters and put your patio furniture into storage. If you can’t store your things, move them around regularly to keep moisture from being trapped underneath so stains won’t form.