Like any professionally-done home addition, decks can bolster your home’s resale value. Many families with…
Preparing your home for a drastic temperature change should be on any homeowner’s checklist as the cold winter months settle in. One thing that is often overlooked, however, is your deck maintenance.
You prepared for just about everything: the decorations, the gathering plans, preparing a spare room for your visiting relatives, checking your chimneys and ensuring your heaters are working correctly, and leaving your decks and porches as an afterthought. After all, they’re supposed to be outside structures. Most people don’t realize that, like everything else inside your home, decks require yearly preparation and care.
During the last and first few months of the year, when the snow starts to fall and the winds pick up, the weather is bound to damage your well-kept outdoor structures if they’re not prepared beforehand. Thankfully, Billy Deck & Patios LLC has prepared a guide to winterize your deck for this upcoming season.
What is Winterization?
Winterizing is simple. It’s how we prepare any part of our house to use in cold weather. Without winterization, most of the structures in our home wouldn’t withstand the rapidly changing weather conditions that come along during winter. It involves cleaning, insulating, treating, or even replacing parts of your home to ensure you don’t kick off your spring having to replace everything around you.
Why is it Important?
This critical home maintenance process is crucial as it prevents water and snow damage and protects your deck from making minor preventable problems irreversible. It’s also a sure way to keep you safe if you feel like stepping outside and enjoying the tolerable cold weather in the comfort of your deck.
5 Steps to Deck Winterization
Prepping your deck for the cold weather is easier than it seems. By following these steps, you can ensure your outdoor patio survives the snowy months.
Step 1: Inspection
Inspecting your deck involves checking for previous damage, identifying spots needing repair, repainting, or replacing, and ensuring everything is properly fastened and nailed in place.
Checking underneath your deck to ensure the stands are structurally sound and testing your handrails are essential to this first step. Once your core problems have been identified and fixed, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Deck cleaning
We’re all familiar with the grueling task of winter cleaning, like clearing snow and water from your porch. However, when we talk about deck cleaning for winterization, we mean removing dirt and debris from your deck and giving it a thorough wash.
You can use a power washer to aid you in the process, but if your deck is old, a bleach-free cleaner will eliminate any stains, and hard-to-remove gunk stuck to the wood.
Step 3: Trim Branches and Trees
The strong winter winds are prone to damaging your property. Ensuring that your branches have been appropriately trimmed before winter begins will prevent them from falling onto your deck and damaging them.
Step 4: Protect Your Deck
Using a good quality sealer will protect your deck from water damage. Proper insulation is crucial all year long, but especially during winter. Apply a fresh coat of sealer, wait for it to dry, and then sprinkle a few drops of water onto the deck. If the water stays afloat, the sealer is working. If the water soaks into the wood, apply another layer of insulation before trying again.
Step 5: Store Your Furniture
If your furniture isn’t made of waterproof materials to withstand harsh weather conditions, cleaning and storing it will ensure you make it through winter. You can keep them inside your house or your garage to make sure they’re safe from water, snow, and debris. Don’t start your spring with a considerable expense like brand-new patio furniture.
Don’t Procrastinate Your Deck Winterizing
The labor of winterization is a small price to pay to ensure the longevity of your deck. Winterizing is essential to avoid damage from rough weather conditions. Cleaning, trimming branches and sealing your deck this upcoming season should be on any deck owner’s to-do list.