Deck Builders Virginia

With winter nearly upon us, it’s time to make sure the final preparations for your deck’s surface are complete. A wooden deck can look great, but it’s susceptible to winter weather damage and requires maintenance to make sure it stays in top condition.

The nature of wood decks needs regular maintenance; it’s likely to erode and warp due to the swelling and contracting during summer and winter, but there are several ways you can slow this process down.

Read on to know how to protect your deck surface, deck furniture, deck boards, deck finishes and how to prepare your deck for things like snow removal, to keep your deck structurally sound.

1. Year-Round Inspections

Many homeowners think a deck is one-and-done. You must pay attention to the state of the wood on your deck all year round.

If you notice mildew and mold on the deck regularly, you can clean it away and prevent it from causing further damage. Using oxygen bleach to remove dirt, mold and mildew will keep the deck strong. Likewise, if you see any damage that has been incurred from daily wear and tear, repairing it before it becomes a magnet for rot will help with winter deck protection when the time comes around. It’s also a smart idea to remove debris, like leaves and airborne trash to keep your deck free of rot or standing water– it’s a simple solution to keep its beauty.

These checks should be carried out every month, so put a date on your calendar year-round or set a reminder on your phone to stay consistent.

An annual varnish is also an excellent idea to help with winter deck maintenance. Many people are tempted to start this as soon as the weather gets better but don’t fall into that trap. Wait until the end of summer when the wood has fully dried before you apply a top coat to your deck. Otherwise, moisture can hurt the deck’s finish…

2. Keep Your Deck Clean

This is another important bit of year-round maintenance. Debris and leaves begin to rot, and this transfers to your decking if you don’t regularly sweep them away.

Special deck brushes are available to remove debris, and it’s also advisable you buy at least one cleaning product that’s specifically designed for decking, like a high quality sealant. This kills any moss, mold or algae that accumulates over time and provides ultimate protection.

Always clean the deck thoroughly before you apply any product. Remember sealants are just an added barrier against the elements, you have to keep up with care all year round.

3. Remove All Furniture, Pots, and Planters

When it gets to wintertime, you must clear your deck so it’s completely open. Planters (planting bulbs) and pots (potter plants) all create spaces where damp and mold can accumulate on a deck. Water gets underneath these types of items, and you can end up with patches of mildew on the deck.

It’s best to keep the furniture inside rather than cover it on the deck for the same reasons. Store furniture inside, so the furniture itself does not rot. Come springtime, your deck and its accessories will be good as new!

Give Prince William Home Improvement a call at 866-598-7692 for a quote.

4. Never Shovel your Deck With Metal

When winter comes around and the snow begins to fall, no doubt you’ll be tempted to get a big shovel out and clear a path. Be careful not to use a metal shovel – only a plastic shovel – as this will inevitably dent and chip the delicate wood of your decking. Keeping the deck’s finish intact to protect the wood is vital.

Not only do chips harbor germs and are the perfect breeding ground for rot, but they also ruin the surface appeal, so we’d advise always using a plastic, rubber or silicone shovel to protect your decking.

5. Always Go With the Grain

When you’re shoveling snow or sweeping, don’t go against the grain of the wood. Going in the same direction as the grain will protect the surface of your deck.

Going against the grain is likely to cause damage over time. If you always sweep in line with the grain, your decking will last longer. It may seem like a small measure, but taking care of the details helps to make sure the delicate wood is better protected throughout the winter months.

6. Don’t Use Salt

The number one mistake that people make during the winter months is using rock salt on their decks. Salt sucks up moisture and affects the natural contraction and expansion of the wood, leading to corrosion and providing the ideal environment for decay. Natural ice melting products are a safer bet.

Traditional wooden decking can erode quickly, especially with the use of an ice melt, and while it may be less expensive upfront than composite decking, the amount of money you’ll need to spend on upkeep eventually balances this out.

Wooden decking nearly always needs to be replaced at least twice as soon as a synthetic deck. Overall, you’ll save money and hard work if you choose composite.

Give Prince William Home Improvement a call at 866-598-7692 for a quote.