5 Deck Maintenance Tips to Protect Against Winter

Winter is coming! Before snow falls and icicles form, consider how you can best prepare your outdoor living space. Whether you have traditional wood or composite decking, taking steps to prepare for the winter could save you money and time on repairs. Here are some deck maintenance tips for preparing your deck for the harsh weather ahead.

1. Clean Up your Deck’s Surface

Just like on your roof, debris left unattended during the winter months can cause damage to your deck’s surface. Dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris can cause snow and subsequent moisture to build up. This can cause long-term damage to your deck’s surface, so be sure to clear away any debris before the bad weather sets in. 

This goes above and beyond the typical daily cleaning carried out in the warmer months. Make sure you practice deep cleaning, especially if the deck is made of wood, to guarantee that it is in the best possible condition.

Leaving mold and mildew on a deck’s surface throughout the winter can create dangerous, slippery conditions. To remove it, scrub the deck's surface using a hard-bristled brush and a wood cleaner free of bleach or any product containing sodium hypochlorite. This is because chlorine bleach is toxic to trees and other vegetation in your yard.

Store empty planters and pots in your garage to avoid moisture leaching and wood discoloration on your deck. Any patio furniture you have should also be stored away for the winter. 

2. Check for Repairs

Before the weather gets too cold for deck maintenance, make sure you perform a general check for common wear and tear issues.

Examine the wood or glass surface for any indications of rot, splinters, or water damage. Once you've located all potential problems, get to work repairing them. Wood filler can be used to patch holes in the deck board or tighten up any loose joints. Make sure to seek out professional help if needed.

The effort made to repair wood decks will be visible after winter, and it will ultimately pay off. In the end, you'll have a deck that's still in excellent condition for family and guests to enjoy when spring comes around.

3. Clear Snow

It’s important to sweep your deck after each snowfall. Snow that accumulates for weeks will melt and then refreeze with temperature fluctuations, which can cause damage to your deck. Be sure to use a plastic shovel or one with a rubber edge to avoid scratching or flaking the deck's finish.

Keeping your deck surface clean is the best way to avoid damage from winter elements. Stay on top of it, and you’ll be happy to have a deck free of damage in the spring!

4. Apply a Protective Coating

Now that you have cleaned up your deck, you might want to consider treating your deck’s surface. A water-repellent treatment can protect your deck from the damaging effects of winter. Ice, snow, sleet, and rain can all cause water damage to your deck's surface, which can lead to splitting, cracking, and warping. You can also use clear ice melt formulas or rock salt to avoid slippery conditions on your deck.

Additionally, consider spending money on a UV-resistant finish to keep the wood from turning gray or losing its color and gloss.

However, if your deck is made out of composite wood decking, you won't have to do much work in this area. Composite decking is less vulnerable to damage due to harsh weather conditions than traditional wood decking. For example, MoistureShield’s composite decking is treated with Solid Core technology, in which wood fibers are wrapped in a durable plastic material that helps prevent warping, rotting, moisture absorption, and general wear and tear. 

5. Cover With A Tarp

For extra protection, put a tarp over the floors, furniture, and wooden patio furniture you keep outside, or move them temporarily to your garage or storage space.

The tarp provides additional protection by preventing snow from falling right on the sealed deck. To avoid snow accumulation, make sure to sweep the snow completely off the tarp.

Despite not always being simple, home repair tasks are usually worthwhile in the end. By following these suggestions, you can keep your deck looking fantastic all year long and ensure it will be in excellent form come spring. Or, if you want high-quality deck maintenance for your own personal paradise, you could hire a qualified team to help you with scheduled support all year round.

Built to Endure Year Round

If you are looking to make your dream outdoor living space a reality, Decksouth is here to help. We're an award-winning outdoor living space designer and builder with a reputation for high-quality materials and outstanding customer service. Our decks are designed for the wear and tear of family use with minimal deck maintenance. If you're interested in learning more about our premium services, contact us today!