The cool breezes of autumn mean winter is right around the corner. While you’re enjoying those crisp fall days, you may want to add winterizing your deck to your to-do list. Here are three ways to help keep your deck in tip-top shape throughout the winter months.
1. Clean Your Deck
Dirt, moisture and other summertime stains can sometimes affect the appearance and health of your deck. Regular cleaning between seasons — especially between summer and winter — may help save your deck from potential problems and help keep it looking great for years to come.
According to HGTV, use a cleaner specifically formulated for the type of deck you have. Deck cleaners can help eliminate dirt and grime and also help remove signs of aging and weathering. A cleaner may also prepare your deck with a new protective coating. Most cleaners come with an applicator that attaches to your garden hose so it can be easy to use.
If your deck is showing its age, you may want to consider stripping it and adding a new finish, says HomeAdvisor. You can add a new finish to both composite and wooden decks. It’s a good idea to consult a professional before you begin refinishing either deck material. Composite decks in particular are difficult to refinish and require special expertise, says HomeAdvisor.
2. Store Your Furniture
Keeping your outdoor furniture out of the cold, wet weather of winter may help ensure it looks great for future cookouts. Patio furniture comes in a variety of weather-resistant materials, but it’s always a good idea to take some extra care. Consult BobVila.com for a few tips on how to help protect your specific type of furniture. Regardless of the type of patio furniture you have, make sure to move it indoors, if you can. Spare space in your shed or garage can be a perfect spot.
If you’re short on space, cover your furniture and place it along the back of your home. For extra protection, you can also elevate the legs of the furniture by placing wooden blocks underneath it, says TODAY. This will help the legs say out of the harsh weather.
3. Remove Your Plants and Planters
If you have any exotic, expensive or sensitive plants, bring them indoors. According to Apartment Therapy, it’s a good idea to store ceramic and terra cotta planters indoors to help avoid cracks. Other materials, like wood or plastic, may remain outdoors. If you have a garden shed or area to store materials, it’s not a bad idea to move smaller planters out of the weather — regardless of the material.
Keeping planters away from your deck can help you keep the surface clear of moisture-trapping debris. Also, planters may leave circular stains on your decking material if left in place long enough. Moving planters intermittently may help prevent ugly spots.
Your deck is an important part of your outdoor living space. With a little preparation and care, it can be in great shape and ready for you to enjoy when spring rolls back around.