Your deck has been your friend during summer; giving you the perfect spot for entertaining friends, basking in the beautiful outdoor weather and often displaying your spring and summer blooms and foliage. Keep your deck in proper condition by preparing it for the winter. Things you can do include:
Begin by clearing the deck. Remove the plants, the grill, the seating and anything else that’s on it. Autumn is the ideal time for this project, but it’s not too late if you missed that opportunity. Here in Alexandria, VA, we might still have some pleasant and warm days before the cold is consistent with us. If you just do not have the time or inclination to clear the deck you can always call on the professionals.
Clear and Clean
After the deck is void of all items, it is time for a good cleaning. Pay special attention to getting rid of those areas of mold and mildew that have developed. Check between those tight boards; these areas are where you’re most likely to find mold growth.
Use a bleach-free product designed primarily for this type of job. Scrubbing is required if you want to keep your deck in good shape during the winter months. If necessary, remove any areas of old sealant that no longer help your deck. When the deck is cleared and cleaned; move onto the next step.
Apply water repellent sealant. This product keeps the wood healthy and makes your deck last longer and look its best. If the deck is floored with stone, that too needs protection, such as a dry-treat sealing product. Using this protection during the winter months is essential.
When it Snows
Professionals in this area do not recommend salt for removing snow. Most agree salt will damage the wood and create stains that are hard to remove. Also, they advise using a plastic shovel to prevent damage to the wood. If you aren’t able to clear snow from the deck, again, call on the professionals for help. Campbell & Ferrara is happy to discuss your landscaping needs and offer a professional plan.
Enclose the Deck
If this sounds like too much work and something you don’t want to do every year, consider covering or enclosing your deck. A roof or enclosure is the ultimate protection and eliminates much of the necessary winter maintenance included with an uncovered deck. It will also provide more time to spend outside, as the roof or enclosure offers protection from the elements.
Call the professionals for the most appropriate and attractive way to make changes to your deck. Your plan may include other hardscape improvements in the landscape and winter is a good time to make those changes.