A Few Quick Facts on Preparing Your Deck for Winter
“Winter is coming.”
We had an all-too-short summer this year, and winter is nearly upon us. When preparing your home for winter, it is essential that the deck be included, whether it is wood or composite. Snow, sleet, rain, and extreme temperatures can damage wood and composite decks.
One of the most critical steps for wood decks is to ensure they are maintained on an appropriate, regular schedule. There are multiple levels of stain protection. Transparent stains will protect horizontal wood for one year, a semi-solid will last 2-3 years, and a solid body stain will protect up to 3-4 years. Vertical surfaces will be protected longer. Many of our customers have us maintain their decks based on the type of stain used.
Also, remove debris from dirt, leaves, pine needles, etc., especially between the boards on all decks. During the winter, this debris allows snow and ice to build up, lock in moisture, and freeze, causing expansion. It is also a good idea to remove furniture, planters, etc.
Here in Colorado, we get a decent amount of snow during the winter, making snow/ice removal a fact of life for all deck owners. Whenever possible, use a broom to remove snow from your deck. This will help prevent any damage occurring to the material.
However, there are times when it may be necessary to use a shovel. Make sure that you NEVER use a metal shovel or shovel with a metal edge. Using these can cause extensive damage to both wood and composite decking materials. If you must use a shovel, be sure to use a plastic one! It is crucial to shovel along the length of the deck boards (with the grain) when shoveling. Running the shovel across the width of the boards can also result in severe damage to the boards.
If you have a metal railing, make sure to check that it is stable and look for any loose screws or connectors that need to be tightened. This will prevent water from seeping in and rusting or causing damage during freeze/thaw cycles.
If you have any questions regarding your deck, please contact us at 719-440-6966.