Clear Your Deck
The first step in preparing your deck for winter is clearing it off. This means removing and storing away deck furniture, planters, and other items. If you keep any item on your deck, ensure it is adequately covered and protected from winter weather. If you leave planters out all winter, it may lead to discolored wood from moisture leaching. Once your deck is cleared, it’s time to delve into cleaning it.
Clean Your Deck
Thoroughly cleaning your deck is a crucial step in preparing your deck for winter. Otherwise, debris left on your deck can cause discoloration. In general, cleaning your deck involves sweeping and pressure. At this time, you should also remove any mold or mildew. Many homeowners who try pressure washing quickly learn that it’s not as easy as it appears. Correctly pressure cleaning wooden decks requires the appropriate equipment and skill; otherwise, you can unwittingly cause damage. When in doubt, it’s best to hire professionals such as Deck Doc.
Inspect and Make Necessary Repairs, if Possible
Carefully inspect your deck, including handrails and steps. In particular, look for any stress signs, loose, rotting, broken, warping, or cracking. If possible, before winter hits, replace boards to prevent further deck damage or injuries. Also, check for any missing hardware (nails, screws, or bolts) and fix any identified issues. Finally, using a flashlight, inspect structural supports under the deck.
Ensure Water Repellent Seal
Make sure your deck’s sealant is appropriately protecting it from damaging moisture. There is a simple test you can do. Sprinkle water on the deck. If the water absorbs into the wood rather than beading, it’s time to apply a high-quality sealant to your deck. This will help shield your deck from damaging snow-induced moisture and ice.
Remove Snow and Icicles
Limiting moisture infiltration is key to extending the life and beauty of a wooden deck. Consequently, it is essential to shovel snow off your deck regularly. Make sure to shovel in the same direction as the boards run. Also, please do not use a metal shovel since it can scratch your deck. Instead, use a shovel with a rubber or plastic blade. Also, use a broom for light snow rather than risk scratching your deck with the shovel. Finally, remove icicles that hang over your deck because they are sharp, and if they fall, they may cause injuries or damage your deck.
Select the Right Ice Melting Products
It is essential to check what ice melting products are suitable for your type of deck. Contrary to what you may think, do not use salt or other ice-melting products on your wood surface. They may cause discoloration or damage to the finish. Also, if you use any salt, rinse it off as soon as the snow is gone to avoid any hardware erosion.
About Deck Doc
With over 20 years of experience, Deck Doc provides top-quality deck cleaning, sealing, staining, restoration, and maintenance services for residential and commercial customers throughout Chicago and beyond. Call 847-979-9299 to schedule your free, no-obligation estimate.