Many people start preparing their yards for the winter months when the temperature drops in the fall. Planting bulbs, laying down mulch, and performing general yard maintenance are some ways they do it. However, people frequently forget to prepare their decks in addition to all the other things. That being said, it’s important to secure your deck for the winter as well. It’s essential that you prepare your deck for cold weather, especially if your deck is made out of natural wood or if you live in an area with severe winters. Preparing your deck will save you a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run. Furthermore, it will increase the longevity of your deck. This is why today we are going to talk about how to get your deck ready for winter.
1. Get Rid of Mildew and Clean Up Your Deck
Getting rid of mildew from your deck is something you should do as part of your maintenance work to prepare your home for the fall, as well as for the winter. This is due to the fact that if the mildew is not removed, surfaces will become dangerously slippery when wet. That said, you can easily remove mildew using a store-bought solution or a DIY mixture of basic home cleansers. An example DIY recipe requires three gallons of hot water, six ounces of powdered certified organic oxygen bleach, and a quarter cup of ammonia-free liquid dish detergent. Just be sure to mix the oxygen bleach powder well before using it.
To clean your deck, use a hand-pump garden sprayer to apply the solution, then let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes before giving it a little scrubbing. An effective tool is a painter’s scrub brush mounted on a long pole. It’s important to rinse after scrubbing. Chlorine bleach and other products containing sodium hypochlorite should be avoided. All plants and trees in the area will die if you use chlorine bleach. Fasteners on the deck, or any other metal parts of the structure, may corrode more quickly if this happens.
2. Check the Deck and Make Repairs
After cleaning, you should look for evidence of decay, water damage, splinters, and other problems that could collect snow once it falls. Do a quick check and double-check anything you find. If you find any issues that require repairs, you can fix them yourself or hire professionals to do it for you. You need to patch any holes you find with wood filler. Additionally, you should fasten any loose joints on the boards of your deck. Work on wooden decks will pay off after the winter is through. A deck that hasn’t suffered any damage throughout the winter will be ready for use in the spring like it was built yesterday.
In addition to that, check to see if there is any discoloration on the wood deck. If there are, it means water is seeping into your deck. Restoring a deck with a sealant is necessary to safeguard it against the wetness and freeze-thaw cycle of the long winter season. The deck should be vacuumed with a shop vac after sanding. To keep water from damaging your deck, use a water-repellent sealant. Be sure to purchase a sealant that is compatible with your deck’s wood finish. The sealant can be spread across the deck’s surfaces and edges with a big paintbrush.
3. Look for Paint That Is Starting to Peel
Decks with mildew or flaking paint have more serious problems than you would think. If the paint on your home starts to peel this winter, the underlying material will take the brunt of the cold weather. For this reason, if you spot any cracks or peeling paint, it is a good idea to repaint your deck. In order to properly apply the new coat of paint, you’ll need to remove the old coat. To remove the previous finish, you may either sand it down or use a scraper. Although this may seem like a lot of work, in the end, you’ll have a deck that is ready for winter. That being said, you don’t need to do this if you paint your deck regularly. However, if you just relocated to a new home, experts from peakervices.com recommend that you re-pain your whole deck, even if it looks good.
4. Check for Weak Railings
There should be no give in the railing that surrounds your deck. Wiggle it back and forth to see whether you need to replace it. The areas where the screws and nails keep the deck railing in place soften over time. This makes the railing loose and dangerous. If this is the case, additional nails or screws will not help. If the railing is loose, you should take it down to inspect the underlying wood for signs of deterioration. The deck’s wood is at risk if the railing’s connection point isn’t secure. Before repairing the railing, be sure the damage hasn’t spread any further into the deck.
5. Place a Tarp Over Your Deck
This last step is discretionary and may not be necessary for certain deck types. However, a tarp can be one of the best deck protection options if you know you won’t be using it for several months and want to prevent moisture from collecting on its surface. Choose a thick, impermeable tarp if you want this to work. Find a tarp similar to the one used to cover a pool during the winter. However, you can also use artificial grass if your deck is in line with your lawn. This is a great option because there are fantastic ideas for landscaping with artificial grass and some great ways to decorate it. In any case, it is irrelevant which approach you take because they are all equally effective.
Knowing how to get your deck ready for winter is just one part of the equation. If you want to keep your deck in good condition, you need to keep snow off of it once winter finally comes. This is the only way to ensure your deck stays in tip-top condition.