5 Tips to Prep Your Deck for Winter

As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter you spend less time relaxing on your deck. However, now is the perfect time to prepare your deck for winter. Here are 5 tips to make sure your deck is ready:

1. Inspect the Deck

This allows you the opportunity to fix issues before destructive winter weather strikes. Check for protruding nails, split boards, loose screws, cracks, and rot. 

If you have any loose decking boards, be sure to re-fasten them so snow and ice can’t get under them, possibly causing warping. And if you have boards with splits, cracks, or signs of rot, you should replace them. 

2. Debris and decoration cleanup

You've likely experienced some significant summer rains and storms, which leave behind lots of debris. Make sure to remove any twigs, leaves, or other detritus from your deck. 

Now is also the time to store away pots and planters. These can trap moisture underneath them which can harm your deck as it freezes, thaws, and refreezes during winter. 

3. Wash the deck

You may find some mildew has formed on your deck particularly if it’s been a wet summer. Kill mildew by doing the following:

  1. Use a mixture of three cups of water, one cup of bleach, and a few drops of liquid soap.

  2. Spray areas that have mildew and brush with a plastic bristle brush.

  3. Spray the remainder of the deck and wash off. 

4. Add a protective coating

After you have washed away the mildew and cleaned your deck, look for fading or peeling finish. Strip away the old finish and apply a new protective coating of your choice. If using a sealant, this coating will help repel water. If you prefer using paint, it can help fill in any cracks in your decking boards.

5. Don’t shovel too much

It’s important to remove snow from your deck after a snowfall but don’t go overboard. If the deck surface is treated properly and your deck has a solid structure, snow does not pose a danger to your deck. Shovel if you need your deck as an entryway or exit into your home.  

By following these 5 simple tips, your deck should make it through winter unscathed! If you have questions about how your deck or other home improvements can affect your home insurance policy contact us at Rumbaugh Insurance. We are always happy to review your policy with you.