Winter is Coming, Prepare Your Decks!

Winter doesn’t officially start until the 21st, but I think our friends up north would disagree. When the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall, who cares what the calendar says!

winter deck maintenance

We’re not going to recommend that you seal and apply a stain to your deck because it may be too late already.  This should’ve been done about a month ago before the cold nights and frigid precipitation rolled in. If you forgot to do this, it’s ok. Not all is lost. These tips should still help your deck during the winter months:

  • Remove potted plants or other objects from your deck. Anything that makes contact with the deck surface has the potential to create moisture traps, forming rings and discoloring your deck permanently.
  • Remove snow using a push broom or a plastic-tipped shovel. Letting snow collect on your deck can have very negative effects as the snow melts. The melting snow can introduce large amounts of moisture that warp boards to the point where they pull away from their fasteners.
  • DO NOT USE SALT. Salt is the most harmful way to remove snow from your deck. Salt works quickly, but the crystals can excessively dry out your boards, leading to cracking and shrinking. Not only will your boards be affected, but your framing can also take a turn for the worse as the salt water runs down and corrodes nails or other fasteners.
  • DO NOT COVER YOUR DECK. We understand the appeal of doing this. It’s cold. It’s snowing. The last thing you want to do is go outside away from the warmth of your house to get rid of snow. The truth is that it can actually cause more damage to your deck. A tarp or other cover reduces air circulation and has the potential to condensate moisture on top of your boards, leaving standing puddles of water that freeze and thaw throughout winter.

Following these simple steps will help your deck power through the winter months!

Leave a Comment