Deck Covers: Be Prepared For Winter
Deck covers are designed to be installed over an existing deck to enhance and protect the deck. These devices are installed over each individual plank of wood. Most covers increase the durability of the deck, and many also come with a warranty.
Different Types of Deck Covers
Vinyl is the most common material used for deck covers. Vinyl is naturally weather-resistant and stands up well to extreme high and low temperatures, rain, and even snow and ice. When properly designed, vinyl can even have a look and texture which is extremely similar to wood.
Fiberglass is another material which is used for deck covers. Like vinyl, it is resilient to weather. The main drawback of fiberglass is that it is less shock-resistant than vinyl and many other materials. This means that a hard hit to a covering could lead to the fiberglass cracking. These cracks may not be visible, but they can allow moisture to seep in, causing damage to the wood.
Plastic is another material—and the cheapest—used to manufacture deck covers. While plastic is extremely resistant to rain, snow and extremely low temperatures, it is susceptible to damage from constant sun exposure. Over time, plastic will fade, peel and show signs of dry rot. Placing a sealant over plastic deck covers can help to protect it from the sun exposure.
Is a Deck Cover the Best Option?
Deck covers are a great option for protecting a wood deck from the elements. Using a deck cover eliminates the need to refinish the wood on a regular basis. Remember, however, that installation of must be done carefully. If the cover is not installed correctly, moisture can get in below the deck cover and cause significant damage to the wood.
If you are looking to build a deck, consider using synthetic wood planks that require no additional protection. The planks are made of vinyl that is designed and textured to look and feel like wood. Unlike wood, synthetic planks are extremely moisture and rot resistant. To care for a vinyl deck, you only need to periodically clean to remove dirt and debris.