Decks are a popular spot for homeowners to spend time outside for barbecues and other events. Like every part of your home, your deck needs maintenance to prevent injuries. Fall is when the weather changes, which is a great time to ready your deck for winter.
Clean Off the Deck
Cleaning off your deck is the first step of fall maintenance. Remove any dirt or debris such as dead leaves. Clean off the dirt and leaves on and between the boards to allow future snow to drain. Always remove your holiday decorations and pumpkins so that they don’t stain your deck.
Check for Wood Rot and Damage
A wood deck wears away over time, no matter how well-maintained it is. Check the surface of the deck for peeling sealant or water damage. The boards shouldn’t be creaky or spongey. Also check under the deck for wood rot or termite damage.
Maintain the Surrounding Plants
Plants grow fast during summer, but overgrowth near your deck can cause moss and wood rot. Trim nearby bushes and shrubs and any overhanging branches to protect your deck. The overhanging trees may produce shade, but heavy snowfall can break branches and damage your deck.
Check That the Deck Is Structurally Sound
It’s still warm enough during fall to give your deck a thorough visual inspection. The security railings and steps are the most important sections of wood to check for damage and rot. After shaky railings and loose boards, you can look for raised nails and rough edges to ensure a safer deck.
Seal the Deck
Sealing your deck prepares it for future rain and snow while allowing you to keep the look of the wood. Painting your deck lets the seal protect the wood longer because signs of wear will show with age. Applying a borate treatment to your deck can keep different microorganisms from building up on the surface.
After cleaning and drying the deck, you can start staining, sealing, or painting. Oil-based stains can prevent cracking boards and protect the natural color of the wood. Paint should be oil-based, and you can reapply any sealants or coats of paint every few years.
Keep the Deck Clear
As the weather cools, you need to watch the high-traffic areas of the deck for ice accumulation. Wood will freeze faster than a patio or sidewalk, and most salt-based products will harm your deck. Seals can’t compete with large amounts of snow, so use a plastic shovel to remove winter buildup.
Fall is the perfect time to winterize your deck to keep people safe and protect the wooden surfaces from water damage. Like other parts of your home, you’ll need to clean, check, and prepare your deck when the weather begins cooling down. If you’re looking for help with decks and patios this fall in Truckee, CA, call us at CMJR Construction for a free bid today.