With cooler weather here, it finally feels like fall. And that means lots of leaf blowing, and other cold weather chores. But before you relax, there’s one more important task to do: prepare you deck for winter.
Getting your outdoor living space ready for wind, ice and snow is one of the best ways to preserve its life and make it ready to enjoy in spring. Here are a few tips:
1. Remove all planters and place them inside, especially the ceramic ones that can crack in freezing temperatures. If outdoor furniture is too big to move indoors, cover it and push it close to the house to protect it from wind and moisture.
2. Clean out any damp leaves and debris that have gathered in corners and tight spaces of your deck. This will help prevent mold and mildew from forming. While you’re at it, take a minute to inspect railings and outdoor stairs to make sure they’re secure. If not, repair them now, otherwise winter elements may further weaken them, requiring more repairs in the spring.
3. Wash all surfaces thoroughly, taking care to remove stains that can become permanent. But make sure you use the right solution for your specific deck material (the experts at Breyer can help you with this). For example, power washing a wood deck is too tough on the its surface. Washing it by hand will preserve the surface and is worth the extra effort. If you need to stain your deck, the cool, dry weather of fall is the ideal time.
4. Make sure the spaces between deck boards are free from organic debris. This will help with water drainage and snow melt. Since stray leaves continue to fall through December, you may have to do this several times.
5. When the snow arrives, make sure you remove it from your deck as regularly as you do from your sidewalks. It’s important to do this with the right implement so you don’t damage the surface – always use a push broom or plastic shovel, never metal.
Likewise, don’t use salt or ice removers—let the sun melt the ice for you.
Like many things in life, doing the hard work up front means reaping the rewards later. By winterizing your deck now, you’ll find it easier to get it ready to enjoy when spring rolls around.