The Northern Virginia winter months can be brutally cold. During the winter, your home's exterior, including your deck, may be vulnerable to damages if not properly protected. Here are a few helpful home improvement tips on how to safeguard your deck this winter:
1. Clean It Up
Similar to our roofing advice for the winter, you should clear away clutter on your deck. Planters that are left out all winter can cause moisture leaching, which may leave behind wood discolorations. Store them in your garage or under your deck instead. Likewise, patio furniture should also be stacked and stowed away for the winter.
2. Scrub It Down
One of our most important Northern Virginia home improvement tip when it comes to keeping your home exterior ready and safe for the winter is to keep things free from debris. The same advice goes for your deck. It is important to keep your deck surface clean. Just as how debris on your roof can cause damages especially during the winter, debris left to rot on your deck surface will cause deterioration.
3. Remove Mold or Mildew Buildup
Mold and mildew that might be present on the deck surface should be removed, especially because decks are a common breeding ground for them. During the winter, the moisture on your deck will attract mold and mildew, especially between tight boards or cracks.
4. Apply Water Repellant Seal
For the ultimate protection against the winter weather use a high-quality sealant that will fill cracks and coat your deck surface like a shield against moisture and ice. This might require the removal of prior finishes but the result is well worth the extra work. Come spring, your deck will look good and damage-free.
5. Cover With a Tarp
To prevent snow from collecting directly on your deck’s surface, cover as much of your deck as possible with a tarp. The added barrier will help prevent warping. Plus, by keeping moisture out of cracks, you’ll reduce the risk of ice formation that will make cracks worse.
6. Remove Snow
As snow envelopes your home, it is important to remove the accumulation of snow on your house. Just like how snow damages Northern Virginia roofing and gutter systems, mounds of snow can also ruin your deck. Remember to shovel in the same direction as the boards run to avoid damaging your deck’s finish. Contrary to what you may think, do not use salt or other ice melting products on your wood surface. They may cause discoloration or damage to the finish.
These are just a few easy ways you can protect your deck during the winter. Remember to wear protective insulation during snowy days, if you decide to shovel snow off your roof and deck. For more Northern Virginia home improvement tips, stay tuned to our blog!
Image Credit: sgtgary