How to Maintain your Deck Over the Winter
Wintertime and the cold weather it brings isn’t an excuse to neglect your deck! You made an investment with your deck, whether it was there when you bought the house or you built it yourself as an addition. Taking the time to protect that investment is key to extending its life and getting as much use and enjoyment out of it as you possibly can.
DIRT & DEBRIS REMOVAL
At the onset of winter, you’re likely to have debris and fallen leaves built up on your deck. No matter how dirty it is, it’s important to remove all debris before the snow and ice comes. Use bleach-free cleaners made specifically for the type of material your deck is made of. Give the deck a good power-washing before winter, and plan on performing an additional pressure wash treatment once spring arrives.
MOLD & MILDEW ELIMINATION
Mold and mildew thrive in damp outdoor areas. Because of this, it’s vital to get rid of any that happens to be on or around your deck before winter, since snow and ice cause moist conditions for your deck. You can purchase commercial products to remove mold, or DIY your own mildew removal solution with common household cleaners. If possible, remove large planters that allow water to leak from the bottom and soak into your deck, as leaving them in place for months can leave you with moldy or stained deck boards come springtime.
STAINING & SEALING
Whether your deck has seen much better days or you simply want to take precautionary measures to ensure it’s protected for the winter, staining and sealing are always great options. Strip any deteriorated or faded finish and apply a water-repelling stain or sealer to keep mold and mildew away during the cold months and protect it further against moisture.
SNOW & ICE REMOVAL
If you have a hot tub on your deck or you aren’t driven indoors by the cold weather and still plan on firing up the barbecue throughout the winter months, it’s important to keep your deck free from snow and ice. Shovel lengthwise along the deck boards to avoid scratching or cutting up your deck. Avoid deicers and harsh salt mixtures, as they can damage and discolor the boards.