Prepare Your Deck or Patio for Winter in 5 Steps

The daylight hours are getting shorter. The temperatures are dropping and winter is setting in. That means more time spent indoors, making it the perfect time to prepare your deck or patio for winter weather conditions. Spending some time preparing your patio will both prolong its lifespan and make sure that it is ready to use once spring arrives. Follow these 5 steps to make sure that your deck is ready for snow and cold temperatures.

1. Remove All Dirt and Debris

While your deck is exposed to dirt and debris throughout the year, this is especially true during the fall when leaves and pine needles fall from the trees. Dirt and other organic debris can accumulate in corners and between boards, which allows moisture to build up. As you probably know, moisture is the number one enemy of wood and can cause rot and other structural damage. Simply cleaning your deck can go a long way in preserving it.

2. Remove Any Mildew

Not only is mildew unsightly and slippery, but it can also cause damage. Make sure to do a deep cleaning on all your deck or patio surfaces before it has a chance to set in for winter. There are plenty of products on the market or you can create your own mixture of water, soap, and bleach. All you have to do is apply the cleaner, wait 10-15 minutes and thoroughly rinse the deck in order to effectively kill and remove harmful mildew.

3. Conduct a Visual Inspection

Once your deck or patio has been cleaned, take the time to inspect joints, look for weak or loose boards and any nails or hardware that has become loose. Replace any damaged wood, hammer down raised nails, and tighten hardware for a safe and secure deck.

4. Apply Sealant

This is a maintenance project that should be on your to-do list every 2-3 years. Sealing your deck will help to lock out moisture and prevent warping, cracking, and rotting. It will also help deter pests from attacking the wood so that you won’t have to worry about repairs. 

5. Remove Snow

Once the cold weather has set in, be sure to shovel snow off the deck or patio with a plastic shovel that won’t leave scratches. You don’t want inches of moisture sitting on the wood. It is also important to avoid salting wood surfaces because it can damage certain stains and finishes.

Putting a little time and effort into preparing your deck or patio can go a long way in making sure that it is intact and ready to enjoy once the warm weather returns. Regular attention and maintenance will also prevent you from having to worry about more expensive repairs. You can prolong the life of your deck and continue to enjoy your outdoor living space.

For more tips and professional help preparing your landscape and hardscapes for the changing seasons, contact JT’s Landscaping today.  

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