Having a deck added to your home is not inexpensive, so you want to do everything possible to help protect and extend the longevity of your investment. When it comes to the wintertime weather, it can wreak havoc on your deck if you don’t practice the following suggestions.
One of the best practices during the winter months is to remove clutter that accumulates on your deck. Move your furniture and planters to your garage or basement for wintertime storage. Any items that are left on the deck can potentially lead to moisture leaching, which may leave behind unwanted wood discolorations on your deck.
Before the cold winter weather hits, it’s a good idea to scrub your entire deck after removing all the clutter. This will help to get rid of any grime and debris that is left behind from the summer and fall months. If you fail to remove this unwanted debris, it can actually end up rotting your deck surface as it deteriorates over the winter season. Make sure that when you’re scrubbing down your deck, you do it with a deck cleaner specifically designed for the finish you have on your wood or other material.
Fill Holes and Cracks in Wood Boards
One of the biggest reasons that wintertime can wreak havoc on a deck is the combination of moisture and ice working together. As the snow melts, it will allow water to seep down into the existing cracks and holes in the boarding that makes up your deck. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water will turn to ice. This causes an expansion in those cracks and holes, which can lead to even more damage.
One of the best things you can do to help prevent extensive damage from the winter season is to fill in any holes or cracks. A good wood filler can do the job very quickly. The air temperature should be above 40 degrees when using a filler outside. Ensure that the filler is completely dry before applying finishings or sealant over it.
Apply a High-quality Sealant
The products that you apply to your deck finish will have a significant impact on its life span. You can keep out moisture from snow and ice by using a high-quality sealant to your deck before the winter season hits. Pay special attention to filled-in cracks to ensure that they’re adequately sealed. When all of your decking surfaces have a coat of high-quality sealant on them, it acts as a shield against moisture and ice.
Avoid Salt and Other De-icers
You may do everything possible to prep your deck for the winter season. However, it’s very common to unintentionally throw salt or other de-icing products on your deck to remove ice build-up. Unfortunately, this one practice could end up destroying your deck very quickly. You should avoid using any sort of salt or other de-icing products as they can damage the deck’s finish and its construction materials. Kitty litter and sand are good alternatives that allow people to walk on the deck without removing the ice.
Remove Snow Strategically
Just like you remove snow from your driveway, you should make it a habit to remove any snow accumulation from your deck. This will help to ensure that the heavy snow doesn’t create any damage to your decking materials. When you shovel the snow, be sure to shovel it in the same direction as your boards run, and it only takes one time trying to shovel it in the opposite direction to damage the deck boarding.
Consider Using a Tarp
If you don’t plan on using your deck throughout the colder winter season, it may be easiest for you to simply apply a tarp to it. This tarp can be draped over furniture and other objects on your deck so that you don’t have to remove them for storage during the winter. If you decide to use a tarp, it’s imperative that you ensure it is properly tied down so that it does not fold over on itself or completely blow off your deck.
Professional Deck Services
Loyalty Exterior Solutions offers professional deck services for Needham, MA, and the surrounding communities. We can also help with all of your residential roofing, gutters, siding, and solar panel needs. Contact Loyalty Exterior Solutions today to get the professional assistance that you need with your home.