The beauty of the winter months can make you want to break into a rendition of, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow!” When it comes to deck maintenance, though, too much snow can become a severe issue.
When you live in a part of the country in which you frequently experience harsh cold weather conditions, winter deck care is essential. You need to maintain your deck so that it will last as long as possible.
At Dupont Construction and Remodeling, our work is our word. We understand the importance of deck maintenance. We are proud of our position as the company of choice for Twin Cities residents. We know what homeowners need to do when those heavy snows fall.
Let’s go over some guidelines for winter deck care.
When the weather starts to turn colder, it is time to ready your deck for those harsh winter months. Just like your roof, your deck needs to be cleared of all the clutter before the snow falls, and it’s too late.
If possible, your patio furniture should be stacked and stowed away. If you have a garage or basement, make a space and let your outdoor furniture hibernate throughout the cold winter months.
Any pots or planters should also be removed. For one thing, certain materials, such as ceramic or glass, can crack or break when they freeze and thaw with the changing temperatures.
For another thing, if you have a wood deck, you don’t want to leave anything out that you can move. If you leave a planter out all winter, it can cause moisture leaching, and that may leave wood discolorations behind.
Once your deck is clear of clutter, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Clean It Off and Keep It Safe
Now that your deck is free from your outdoor furniture, it is time to give it a good scrub down. This may be your last chance to clean your deck before the big freeze.
It would be best if you kept your deck free of leaves and debris. The surface of your deck must be kept clean. Any debris that is left on your deck to rot can cause irreversible deterioration.
It is easier to prevent damage than to repair it after the fact.
You must also keep your deck clear of mold and mildew. All the thawing and refreezing of moisture on your deck can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold. Stay on top of your cleaning duties, and your deck will be fine.
Fighting mold and mildew is a constant battle for any homeowner with a deck. You should be perpetually aware of this issue and fight mold as it appears.
It would help if you sealed your deck annually. To protect your deck against the harsh winter weather, a good layer of sealant is always a good preventative measure.
A good sealant will fill the cracks and crevices and shield the surface of your deck from damaging moisture and ice. Don’t be discouraged if you have to remove the previous year’s layer. The extra work will be well worth the effort.
To provide an extra layer of protection, you may consider using a heavy-duty plastic sheeting. Use breeze blocks to keep the plastic in place. This additional barrier will help to prevent the warping of your deck.
Also, the plastic tarp will help to keep the snow and ice out of the cracks on the surface of your deck. If ice forms in those cracks, it may make the cracking worsen and spread.
Don’t become complacent with the chilly weather. Spend time sporadically removing leaves and debris as it accumulates on your deck. You don’t want dirt and leaves to freeze in the ice on your deck because it will stay there all winter.
Remove the Snow
Now that you have adequately protected your deck from the snow and ice, the real work begins. As the snow falls and accumulates on your deck, you must be vigilant.
If left unchecked, mounds and mounds of snow can slowly ruin your deck. Be prepared to use some elbow grease to remove it.
When you are shoveling all that snow, make sure you are shoveling in the same direction as the boards. This way, you will avoid damaging your decks finish. You just spent time and energy sealing your deck, don’t ruin all that hard work now.
We do not recommend that you use salt or any other ice melting products on your wooden deck. These products may cause damage or discoloration to the woods finish.
Don’t forget to wear protective gear when you are shoveling all that snow. You will need all that insulation to protect yourself against the cold.
Don’t Lose It, Use It
Why go to all the trouble to winter-proof your deck if you only use it during the warmer months. You can get a lot of use of your deck even in the winter. Follow these tips to get the most use out of your deck year-around.
Fire It Up
Warm up your outdoor space with a heater or a fire pit. Heaters can come in many different forms. You can buy one that runs on gas or electric power, find the best heater for you and your needs.
A fire pit is another splendid option. The rustic charm that fire pits can lend to your deck can lead to a sense of fun and whimsy.
Cover It Up
A canopy awning will not only help shield the sun during the summer, but it can also protect your deck from the snow. You can even get a retractable awning if you don’t want permanent coverage.
The best way to spice up any space is to add a hot tub. A hot tub will allow you to turn your deck into a year-round oasis.
Your deck can be a refuge for you and your family. It is a place to gather and bond. You need to take care of it so it will last for years to come.