Freezing temperatures are harsh and we often forget the impact this weather has on a wooden deck. Preventative care may seem like a lot of work, however, when you winterize your deck you are helping to prevent damage that may be costly to repair next season. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare your deck for winter

Clean the Deck

As part of winterizing the deck, clear it off and clean it thoroughly. Mold and mildew can become trapped in the wood. Cleaning it well helps to prevent deterioration caused by fungi.

Remove everything from the deck and sweep it to remove leaves and to clear away debris from between the wooden boards. Clean the deck using a pressure washer but be careful not to damage the finish. You can also purchase deck cleaner products at home improvement stores. Many of these are designed specifically to remove mold and mildew before they cause damage.

Inspect the Deck for Problems to Prepare for Winter

The freezing and thawing cycles that happen throughout winter can cause severe damage to wood. Before the weather gets too cold, inspect the deck and repair areas that are cracked, warped, or rotting. It may be necessary to replace badly damaged decking boards. Check for loose screws or other fasteners and reinstall them as needed. Make sure the wood of your deck is secure and ready for harsh weather.

Protect the Patio Furniture

Before the weather gets cold, clean your outdoor furniture and move it safely inside to a garage, basement, or shed. Some furniture, especially wooden and wicker patio furniture, absorbs moisture and may be damaged when the water freezes as temperatures drop.

Apply Sealant to Prepare Your Deck for Winter

After the deck is cleaned, seal the wood with a water-repellent finish. This step is important to protect the decking materials from cold weather and moisture. You’ll keep your deck in great condition so it will be ready to use come spring

Winterizing your deck is not a difficult process, but you shouldn’t put it off until the last minute. Make sure the decking materials stay in good condition throughout the severe winter months and when the weather warms, your backyard deck will be ready to enjoy again.

DMV Home Inspections provides home inspections in the Washington DC metro area. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to schedule our services.