Don't neglect your deck in the winter. These 7 easy steps can make your can double your deck or patio's lifespan.
Winter can bring sub-zero temperatures, sudden snow, storms, and other rough weather conditions. Before putting off repairs and reinforcements for your deck and patio until next season, consider that this may be the right time to take appropriate steps to winterize your outdoor spaces.
Winterizing your deck or patio is not only to prepare and protect it for the cold season but also to extend its life for as long as possible so you can create more memories there many years to come. Here’s what you should be doing.
1. Remove dirt and debris
Sweep your deck clean. Letting all those leaves, branches and pine needles clutter up the corners of your deck or patio will lead to moisture buildup and decomposition. Eliminate moss or fungus that could lead to stains, or worse structural damage.
2. Trim all overhanging branches
If you live in the part of the country where there is heavy snowfall, consider trimming any large branches hanging over your deck or patio. One violent ice storm is enough to cause them to snap and crash onto your beloved outdoor space.
3. Give it a good wash
Wash away all the nasty stains and scents from last summer’s barbecue or mildew growth from fall so it won’t stand there all winter season. Stubborn stains can be removed using a bleach-free cleaner – minimizing stains without yellowing the wood.
4. Clean and store your outdoor furniture
Give your deck or patio furniture a good cleaning before packing it away in your basement, garage, or shed. Make sure they’re all wiped clean and dry – no need to go overboard – just clean enough so they’ll be ready to use when spring comes back around.
Don’t overlook your plant containers especially the ceramic ones. They will eventually crack if left outside all winter. Make sure you check for pests first before bringing them inside. Most houseplants don’t need direct sunlight, only a well-lit room.
5. Strip and seal
This step might require you more time and money than you have allotted for winterizing your outdoor space but stripping the old finish and applying a fresh seal can greatly extend its life.
6. Waterproof and stain it
Make sure your deck or patio will still be able to repel all the extramoisture that the cold season will bring. Spray it with water and if the water soaks in over the entire space, it’s time to stain it again. If there are just spots and beads here and there, use water proofer to treat it. If there is significant water pooling in some of the boards, you may want to replace those boards right away. Delaying this makes it more prone to rotting. Simple waterproofing or staining of your wood deck or patio can also ensure it won’t look dull and weathered.
7. Freshen up its base
Before winter hits, power wash your deck or patio base. If you have stone pavers, pull all the weeds or moss between stones and spray with weed control. Apply new sand across the pavers, making sure it gets into all of the cracks in between.
Lower the potential of costly repairs at the start of spring by winterizing your deck and patio early on. By following these tips will help your outdoor space be ready and waiting for warmer weather.