How To Winterize A Wooden Deck

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Wooden decks provide a natural and rustic aesthetic to your home, but are also exposed to a great deal of weather exposure. While they are able to withstand most of the things that nature throws at them, heavy amounts of moisture and changes in temperature can still cause damage to decks. Therefore, if you want to protect your wooden deck through the winter months, there are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that it holds up against the cold weather.

Remove Debris

Sweep away any built up leaves and other organic debris that has built up on your deck over the fall months. Wet leaves and other organic materials that become soaked in water can leave tannin stains on your wood, ruining the aesthetic. Additionally, rotting organic material can spread rot to your deck, threatening the structural stability of the structure. Finally, you should remove any debris stuck between the boards of the deck to ensure that proper air circulation occurs, which can help water evaporate quickly during a thaw.

Remove Furniture

Remove any patio furniture that you have on your deck, even if it can withstand the winter. Planters, chairs, and tables can all collect excess snow, and allow water to pool underneath them once the snow melts, increasing the amount of water exposure that your deck receives. This increases the chance of rot and mold growth occurring.  Additionally, any metal on your patio furniture can begin to rust when exposed to water, which can transfer rust stains onto your deck.

Test the Structure

Try to shake your deck by swaying or jumping on it. If the deck moves when you do, your supports may have become damaged or weakened over time, and you should call a professional in to do repairs. If left unchecked, this can cause your deck to collapse or begin to sag, especially when the added weight of snow is added to your deck. You should also test the structural stability of any handrails or other installations on your deck to ensure that they are still stable as well, and have them repaired if needed.

Maintenance

While the above tasks can help your deck stand up to the winter months, you should not just leave your deck to deal with the winter months passively. During periods of heavy snowfall and during thaws, you should use a broom to clear snow off of your deck. This reduces the amount of strain placed on your deck, and reduces the amount of melted water that can be absorbed by your deck, reducing the likelihood of rot and mold growth occurring.

Talk to professionals, such as Distinctive Deck & Rail Ltd, for more tips. 

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