While your backyard deck might be a part of the property that you mostly use during the warmer part of the year, comes the winter, your preparedness will determine its level of protection. First of all, a backyard deck is usually made of timber, which is known to respond differently to moisture, mildew and low temperatures.
Coincidentally, all of these hazards are something that your patio will have to face during the winter. Also, your deck is not the only thing that should concern you, while on this topic. Other than it, you also need to think about your outdoor furniture and roofing solutions. All in all, here are several tips on how to protect your deck this winter.
Move your furniture indoors
The first thing you need to do when designing a backyard deck is to consider the likelihood that you won’t be able to leave your furniture outdoors for the entire duration of the winter. This means that you need to either have enough storage space for all your furniture (attic, basement, garage or a shed) or invest in outdoor furniture made from a winter-resilient material. At the very least, you should evacuate your cushioning and fabrics like table cloth, outdoor rug, etc.
Keep it clean
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that the clutter on your deck may become a potential tripping hazard, especially if the deck is not covered and the snow covers the entirety of the surface. Moreover, seeing as how there’s already a slip risk, even on a completely clean surface, falling on one of these uneven areas of the deck may become quite hazardous. Also, keep in mind that you might not be able to use your backyard deck during the winter, which means that you can use the process of moving your outdoor furniture indoors as a great opportunity to keep the place clean.
Think about the shade
A backyard deck often has some sort of structure that provides shade/rain cover and, depending on the type of this cover, you might want to approach the maintenance from a different angle. For instance, retractable awnings are particularly handy seeing as how you can just remove them with a single click of a remote control button. This is why it might be a good idea for you to look for awnings for sale while outfitting your backyard deck. A shade sail can be removed, as well, even though it requires more work, as well as manual removal. Lastly, roof construction is also a popular choice but it requires more maintenance and poses a greater hazard.
Remove mold buildup
Wooden surfaces are particularly friendly to mold and mildew buildup, mostly due to the fact that they soak up the moisture and serve as an ideal breeding ground for it. Also, keep in mind that cracks or space between boards may give mold an ideal condition for growth and expansion. In order to prepare your backyard for this, you need to scrub the area as soon as possible. One additional idea, that might also help winter-proof your backyard deck is to apply a water-repellant seal. This will prevent the bulk of the damage that may befall your deck comes the winter.
Regularly remove snow
Lastly, like on the rest of your property, in order to keep it safe, clean and neat, you need to remove the accumulation of snow from your deck before it starts causing some damage. When it comes to snow clearing tips, perhaps the best and the simplest one is to clean in the same direction as the boards run. This will help you avoid incidentally scratching the finish. Also, you should avoid using various ice melting products or salts in order to avoid discoloration of the finish.
At the end of the day, while there are some actions that you need to take before the winter finally arrives, what you also need to keep in mind is the fact that you also have to invest a fair bit of work on a regular basis. This is especially true if it starts snowing on a regular basis. Overall, protecting your deck is something that needs to become a priority for anyone who is serious about the protection of their property.
Bio: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.