Wood decks require a bit more attention during the winter season. Debris, like leaves and branches, could cause standing water, which wreaks havoc on your deck. The outdoor plants and furniture may also sustain damage from the cold temperatures.
Here’s how you can maintain a beautiful and structurally sound deck this coming winter.
Provide the Needed Repairs
If moisture finds its way into the cracks and gaps in your wooden deck, it may freeze. Water expands as it freezes, so it could split your wood and undermine the deck’s structural integrity. Over a few months, the frozen water in the nooks and crannies of the deck may cause severe damage, leading to costly repairs.
Our deck builders in Southern Maryland recommend fixing and sealing any cracks in your wooden deck before the winter season comes. It ensures that no crevice would hold ice that might damage the wood.
Clean the Deck
Once the needed repairs are addressed, give the deck a good sweep and have it power-washed. Doing so blasts dirt and grime away from the cracks and crevices. Additionally, it restores the deck to its pristine appearance.
If the stain or finish of the wood is fading, consider applying a fresh coat. The stain or finish binds with the fibers of the deck and helps protect them from weather elements. Staining or refinishing the deck also reduces the risk of mold growth. Moreover, it restores the pristine appearance of the deck. Come spring, your deck will look good as new.
Remove Plants and Furniture
Clear the deck of planters and furniture and store them indoors during the winter.
When you leave plants on the deck, they collect water from the rain and snow, which leaks under the planter. As a result, the plants may leave rings and imprints on the deck. Worse, it may lead to patches of mold growth and cause damage to the wood.
The same goes for furniture. Water may accumulate under the tables and chairs, which may cause mold and mildew. Instead of covering the furniture, store them indoors.
Clean the Deck Properly
Once the snow falls, clean the deck regularly.
Use the proper shovel. Don’t use metal shovels because they dent and chip the wood. Not only will they cause unsightly blemishes, but these chips and dents could also harbor moisture and lead to rot. Use rubber, plastic, or silicone shovels.
Don’t use salt. Many homeowners use salt to clear the snow on the decks. However, salt absorbs a huge amount of moisture, which interferes with the natural contraction and expansion of the wood. This may leave the deck more vulnerable to decay.
Go with the grain. Shovel or sweep with the grain because these motions are less likely to damage the deck.
Decks require special maintenance, but the effort is worth it — they are a lovely addition to any home. If you like to improve your deck or know someone looking to have a nice outdoor space, get in touch with G.H. Clark Contractors today.