6 Ways to Prepare Your Deck for Winter

Building a deck requires putting in the time and effort to properly maintain it. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your investment. For those homes that are located in regions of the country where the temperatures drop precipitously, the winter months can be pretty harsh. That’s why deck contractors portland suggest you take the precautions necessary to prepare it for the winter, so you can protect your home improvement project.

1.Clearing

Like anything else you might be prepping to safeguard for the winter, you want to clean up your deck completely and clear off any items that could get damaged. Many items can actually discolor the wood of your deck due to moisture leaching. So be sure to remove anything that is portable and bring into your garage or storage shed for the winter.

2. Scrubbing

Once you have everything removed it’s time to give your deck a good scrubbing. Clear away all debris and grime that might be stuck to the surface of the wood. Allowing these things to remain throughout the winter can lead to rot, causing some significant deterioration of your decking materials. This could get costly to repair once the temperatures warm back up.

3. Mold and Mildew Removal

Don’t let mold and mildew remain on your deck throughout the winter. Those things should be removed prior to closing up for the season. The moisture that comes with the colder months will already attract mold and mildew in various areas where the boards are positioned tightly to one another. So, clearing away what already exists will reduce the amount you might have to remove when spring comes around.

4. Sealant

Mold and mildew won’t just occur in between decking materials, it can also develop in cracks and other small crevices that are left unprotected. That’s why you should apply a high-quality sealant to fill in those cracks and crevices so you ice and moisture don’t seep into the wood surface. If you perform this step ahead of winter, your deck will be free of damage in the spring.

5. Cover

Before the snow begins to fall, you should cover the surface of the deck with a large tarp. This will help to prevent any warping that might occur as it will add another layer between your deck and the normal levels of moisture that you can expect from snow and ice that will most likely develop as it gets colder throughout the winter months.

6. Eliminate Snow

You do not want to let the sun do the work of clearing off the snow from your deck. The winter months will probably bring plenty of the white stuff and you should not allow it to sit there for long periods of time. Shovel it off from the deck as soon as you can and always remember to do so in the same direction as your deck boards. If you don’t you could damage the finish on your wood surface. You should also avoid using salt to melt ice and snow as this could discolor or even eat away the finish.