The first step with prepare your deck for winter is to clean your deck to prepare for the cold and snow to come. Once most of the leaves have fallen, make sure to blow off your deck and hose off to clean. Don’t use a hose if the temperature is low enough to freeze; you don’t want to turn your deck into a ice rink. Think about using a cleaner and brightener, if you feel that you deck is looking stained or dark and could use some brightening. Even if more leaves fall, you want to keep your deck free of leaves and debris to help prevent mold and staining when you do get a heavy snowfall.
Once your deck is clean, you can inspect it for any repairs that are needed so it is ready to go for the spring and next summer. Inspect everything closely and make sure that all of the screws, railing, steps, and decking is secure and repair anything needed. It is best to repair now because the freezing temperatures could actually make the issues worse depending on what they are. Double check railings, so that you know they are secure before you really need them in case of ice. On a warm summer day, a wobbly railing seems like something to do later, but may be useful to have fixed during the cold and icy season.
If you have a sealed hardwood deck, it is a good idea to seal your deck before winter to help it keep it’s color and get a jump on it for spring. eDeck sells Messmers brightener, cleaner and UV Plus. This is really the best time of year to do it, so you can take advantage of your well protected deck come next spring.
Clear the Deck
It is best to remove chairs and tables, grills, and anything else from the deck for the winter. It will help those items last longer and help your deck look last longer as well. If you are unable to remove the items then make sure to secure them to deck so they are prepared for winter winds, and snow. It is recommended to use bungie cords and not permanent fasteners.
For our southern contractors, this will not be as much of a worry, but it is something to keep in mind for when it comes. It is recommended to shovel along boards to keep from scratching by shoveling across the boards. Also, if you have to shovel, we would recommend using a plastic shovel to avoid damaging your decking. We recommend staying away from any chemical snow melting since it could cause additional damage to your decking. The general rule of thumb for large amounts of snow is that If snow has accumulated any higher then the railing, then you should start removing it to assure the deck is not over loaded. If you let it collect too much over that level, then it could pose a structural danger.
Those are our pointers on preparing your deck for winter and how to make sure that you deck is ready to go come spring time. Fall is really the best time of year to get your deck cleaned, sealed, and repaired for next summer. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments. What are your tips for preparing for winter?