Your deck has worked hard all summer. Now is the time to give it a little TLC before winter sets in. We have the tips you need to prepare your deck for winter, ensuring its beauty and function for years to come.
The following tips are offered courtesy of the experts at Trex, manufacturers of high performance composite decking material. Learn more about the benefits of a Trex deck.
Tip #1: Loose nails that are exposed above the deck’s surface create hazards, especially for children and pets. If you own a wood deck, drag the back of a rake across the boards to find any protruding nail heads. Hammer them down, or replace them with galvanized screws that are approximately ½-inch longer than the original nails. Decks made of other materials should not experience a loosening of nails. However, if you desire a smooth deck surface that is completely free of any type of fasteners, consider a wood-alternative material for the ultimate clean and worry-free appearance.
Tip #2: Scuffs and abrasions accumulated during the summer from furniture or foot traffic are easily acquired and can mar the beauty of a deck’s surface. To keep wood decks looking good as new, it’s important to wash, stain and seal them in advance of the arrival of warm weather, as the process can take several weeks and may require the use of heavy equipment such as a power washer.
Tip #3: BBQ sauce is delicious, but not when the leftovers from a summer cookout are coating your deck. In fact, oil and grease stains can be downright unappetizing, especially if they’re set-in. For a wood deck, try to scrub the stain with a household de-greasing agent as soon as it occurs. Use an automotive degreaser or a carburetor cleaner, and rinse immediately with hot water. For a composite deck, food and drink spills wash off easily with just soap and water.
Tip #4: Mold and mildew can grow on any exterior surface – especially on decks where water is allowed to stand or to puddle under potted plants. Sweeping away pools of water and periodically cleaning the deck surface creates a first line of defense against mold and mildew. These actions prevent the creation of an environment that promotes the growth of fungus. In addition, wood decks need to be sealed twice a year to protect against other types of moisture damage, such as rotting planks, which can make decks unsafe for kids and pets.