Its cover is affected both by the heat and cold of the summer and by the precipitation of winter. Fortunately, there are things you can do to mitigate the effect of the elements. Read on for deck builders tips to prepare your deck to survive the winter unscathed.
Winter deck care starts during the warmer months, long before winter hits, because the best winter deck care tip is preparation. If you prepare your deck correctly, it will survive the harsh winter months.
First, make sure your deck is properly sealed. Sealing or staining your deck is part of maintaining having a wooden deck, which will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood. Moisture is the most common cause of warping, cracking, splintering, and rot. Once these problems start, pests can enter and cause even more damage. Make sure your deck is completely sealed.
Second, before winter hits, check for mold or other signs of damage. If you see something, even a little damage, fix it. While the damage you’ve found may seem like nothing to worry about right now, it will be a big deal once winter is over. Small problems become big problems, especially when those problems are left at the mercy of frost, rain, hail, and snow.
Third, keep it clean. This is a simple thing to do, and when done regularly, it can really extend the life of your deck by preventing buildup and rot. Keeping it clean means removing dirt and debris and cleaning holes and crevices, or any other places that can collect debris and make a hiding place for critters.
Lastly, take cover! Winter and colder months can bring really harsh weather: heavy rain, hail, or snowfall. For heavier weather days, when you won’t be able to use your deck anyway, most deck builders makes sure you have some protection for your deck and anything that lives there, such as furniture covers or barbecues.o
- Remove all leaves and debris.
- Clean the deck with a pressure washer. If you don’t have a pressure washer on hand, use a hose and clean off any sticky dirt with a broom.
- Seal the deck before it gets too cold outside; use a protective wood sealer with a water seal.
In the winter
- Remove the snow from the deck with a plastic shovel and do it gently; do not use a metal shovel as it can scratch the wood.
- Use an unsalted deicing agent to melt the ice on the deck. Do not use salt as it can damage the wood.
- Do not cover the deck because moisture can seep in and cause condensation, which can linger for a long period of time and will damage the wood and create the perfect breeding ground for mold growth.
Before winter, sweep your terrace.
Piles of leaves retain moisture and begin to rot. That moisture decomposition process will damage your deck and contribute to rotting.
After cleaning your deck, apply a sealer to keep moisture out. Moisture and wood decking don’t mix. The sealer will prevent water from penetrating the wood. Just as the freeze-thaw cycle creates potholes and cracks in your driveway, it can also weaken your deck if it penetrates the wood.
When it snows, do not use a metal shovel because metal can scratch the deck surface, which is not only unsightly but also creates a weakness in the deck where water can settle.
Re-treat your cover as needed
You must make sure to treat your terrace during the winter. Anything that prevents moisture from seeping into the wood will help. However, it is not infallible. No chemical solution will get you out of trouble for basic maintenance on your deck. You should monitor it for signs of water damage, bowing, rusty screws/nails, and any other issues that may be caused by winter weather.