Before you head indoors for winter, learning ways to keep your decks under cover will help preserve your deck in its best condition.
Staining Your Deck
Fall is actually the best time to prepare your deck for the winter weather by applying a deck stain. If your deck is unfinished, use a wood cleaner designed to remove dirt and natural contaminants. This will brighten your deck and prepare it for staining. If your deck is already stained, remove the old finish so that the new one adheres properly. Apply a premium, water repellent wood finish to rejuvenate your deck and protect it from the winter ice and snow.
Fighting Mildew, Mold & Stains
Sweep leaves, dirt and pine needles from your deck as soon as fall hits. By removing this debris, you will increase airflow between the boards and reduce the chance of mold and mildew growing. Remove any mildew from the deck as soon as you notice it with a commercial mildew remover. Allowing it to grow can cause additional damage throughout the winter.
Remove all planters and pots even if they are just decorative. The moisture collected under them can leave stains on your deck. If you cannot remove them from the deck, or have nowhere indoors to store them, raise them off the wood to help prevent staining.
Protecting Your Furniture
Wash and store vinyl furniture indoors and inspect any wood furniture for damage and make the necessary repairs before covering or storing it for winter.
Tips for Snow Removal
If you are shoveling snow from your deck, be sure to run the shovel lengthwise across the boards to minimize scratching or cutting into the wood. Another option is to use a plastic shovel. Avoid salt and other ice melting substances as they may damage or discolor your deck finish.
If you are not interested in shoveling your deck, consider putting a cover on it to protect it from rain and other debris.
By taking care of these maintenance items before the winter comes, you will greatly minimize your cleanup come Spring, giving you the chance to enjoy the budding great weather.