It’s no surprise that winter takes a toll on homes, but one area that many don’t typically prepare for well is the deck. It’s easy to just let the snow fall and do your best to clean it all up and restore it in the spring, but your pocketbook will fare better if you prepare and protect it over the coldest months. It’ll also help maintain the curb appeal of the home if you’re looking to sell. Here’s how to take care of it:
Clear it out as much as possible. If you have furniture and tools such as a barbecue out on the deck, it’s time to clean and store them in the garage or a storage unit to protect them from the elements. Once cleared off of any leaves and debris, look for any potential damage that might benefit from a repair now rather than later.
Clean it up. If any debris has become caught in the gaps between the wood of the deck, you will want to immediately clear it to ensure the wood remains ventilated, preventing mildew from building up and rotting your deck. You can also clean away any stains and look for any mold or mildew issues that might have already started to develop—and treat them right away.
Repair anything that needs fixing. While you could wait until the spring, that only allows the damage to worsen, which means that it could cost even more to fix. Look out for warped wood and loose boards which are easy to fix now. Ensure the waterproof seal is still in working order. If it’s not, you will want to reseal it before the heavy snow weather hits. You can test this by splashing water on it. The water should bead and fall away, but if it absorbs into the wood instead, you know you have an issue. Some other telltale signs are stain that has rubbed off, leaving behind exposed wood, and bubbling paint. But, remember, you’ll require dry weather to proceed with the re-staining process.