With winter nearly upon us, it’s time to make sure the final preparations for your deck’s surface are complete. A wooden deck can look great, but it’s susceptible to winter weather damage and requires maintenance to make sure it stays in top condition.
The nature of wood decks needs regular maintenance; it’s likely to erode and warp due to the swelling and contracting during summer and winter, but there are several ways you can slow this process down.
Sweep, Clean, and Power Wash
Unless you’re meticulous in your cleaning habits, your deck most likely accumulated some dirt, grease stains, leaves, and other debris during the active months. Make sure you give the surface a thorough cleaning before you shut it down for the winter. Otherwise, this debris may begin to rot the wooden surface as the cold weather freezes the leaves and dirt. Plus, if you don’t clean it now, you’ll just be left with even more to do when spring cleaning time comes.
Start by moving all furniture and other objects out of the way. Then, sweep the area until it’s clear. Now, you can power wash the deck, but only if it’s been recently sealed.
Inspect the Deck for Damage
A number of decks collapse every year. This is either due to poor construction or improper maintenance. Nails or fasteners may get loose and moisture can cause wood to weaken and rot over time. Eventually, enough weight can cause the whole structure to buckle.
Because most of this damage tends to occur in the winter, you’ll want to carefully inspect your deck for damage before the season fully kicks in. If you find any rot, have the area repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage will only worsen and you’ll be left with a dangerous deck in the spring.
Don’t Forget to Stain and Seal
Once you’ve cleaned and properly inspected your deck for damage, now is the time to freshen up its appearance and protect it from the winter weather. Look for the longest lasting deck stain to get you through the season and beyond. You might opt for a transparent stain to emphasize your deck’s natural grain and beauty, or go for a colored, darkened deck stain depending on your preference. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to know how to stain a deck.
Staining and sealing your deck will prevent moisture from creeping into the wood. It will also mitigate the effects of cold, dry air. Think of it like a winter coat. Your deck will surely thank you once the season is over, and you’ll thank yourself for getting the job done before winter comes.
If you want to continue using your deck for years to come, you have to take care of it. The colder months threaten its lifespan, but you can fight back with these three crucial measures.