Get Ready For Winter

The summer entertaining season may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore your deck. As fall winds down, here are a few things you should do to prepare for winter:

Clean Up Debris

Throughout the year, your deck may have accumulated dirt, pollen, mold, leaves, or barbecue stains. Cleaning your deck before the snow starts to fall will help prevent rot. Pay special attention to the gaps between deck boards, as debris can get stuck in there. Clogged gaps will trap water on your deck surface and prevent the boards from drying properly.

Something as simple as routinely sweeping your deck off can aid in it's lifespan.

Something as simple as routinely sweeping your deck off can aid in it’s lifespan.

Check the Finish

Areas of sunlight and shadow across your deck will cause the finish to fade in irregular patches. If you’re using a hardwood like Ipe, this problem is primarily aesthetic; if you don’t mind the wood graying out, there are no structural dangers. Weaker woods, however, should be refinished whenever there are signs of wear.

Oiling your deck and refinishing your entire deck will help it weather the winter much easier

Oiling your deck and refinishing your entire deck will help it weather the winter much easier

Inspect for Safety

Walk around your deck, bouncing slightly as you go. Take note of any boards that creak under your weight; creaking can be an early warning sign of a board that needs replacing. Test the sturdiness of your railings and stairs and make repairs where necessary. Secure loose fasteners, and consider replacing old nails with stainless steel screws to prevent pop-ups in the future.

Checking your deck for any signs of safety issues will prevent possible collapses if snow or rain accumulates on your deck.

Checking your deck for any signs of safety issues will prevent possible collapses if snow or rain accumulates on your deck.

Now is a great time to perform a little maintenance on your deck. Securing it against the elements now will ensure it can withstand the winter weather and be ready for you in the spring.

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