Tips To Prepare Your Hardwood Deck For Winter

September 18, 2020 By

The weather is still beautiful this time of year but that doesn’t mean you should pretend winter isn’t on the way! If you have a gorgeous hardwood deck, you’ll want to protect your investment and make sure you’re prepared for inclement weather. Follow our simple steps and you’ll be ready for the snow and rain.

Check for damage

You don’t know what needs to be done without an assessment. Even if you’re not sure what to look for, you can perform a quick and effective inspection:

  • Take a close look at the top of the deck and take note of weak or loose boards.
  • If you’re able to look underneath the deck, look at spots where moisture may have accumulated.
  • Check around the perimeter of the deck and look for holes or gaps where rodents could have gotten through.
  • Finally, make sure there are no loose railings or footings and ensure all hardware is tight.

Clean the deck

Time to clean it up! Sweep away any dirt, pollen, sticks, or other debris that may have collected on the deck’s surface or in between the boards. Built-up debris is a magnet for snow and ice and that means moisture accumulation. Moisture can cause structural damage and wood rot, of course, so make sure your deck is cleaned up by the first frost of the season.

Next, ensure the deck is free from mildew since it can lead to major damage. The good news is that tropical hardwoods are naturally resistant to mold and mildew. Whether you choose ipe, batu, or some other hardwood, your deck will benefit from the wood’s incredible density, which makes it extremely difficult for mildew to take hold and grow.

Apply a finish 

Your hardwood deck doesn’t necessarily require a finish, especially if you’re into low maintenance. However, even if you want a natural look, an initial coat of Ipe Oil is recommended to ensure that the wood maintains its natural oils and stability. Otherwise, plan on sealing your deck about every two years. Ipe Oil by Deckwise is a great way to preserve the look of your deck and protect it from the elements, such as moisture, temperature fluctuations, and Ultraviolet sunrays. Using a finish will add years to your deck’s life and save you serious money. Apply the product to a clean, dry surface with a brush or roller and let dry completely. sunrays. Using a finish will add years to your deck’s life and save you serious money. Apply the product to a clean, dry surface with a brush or roller and let dry completely.

Quick Mildew Tip

If the conditions in your location are especially challenging and som mildew has already accumulated, don’t use bleach to clean your deck! Some safe options to use are a vinegar and water mix or a laundry detergent-water mix. Apply the mixture with a bristle brush and gently scrub, and then rinse the surface with a hose.

Store furniture

Depending on your location and your setup, consider if you need to store furniture and a grill for the winter. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might be planning on using your deck year-round, especially if it has a cover or awning. Or you may have a hot tub that you can enjoy even when it’s cold. In these cases, wipe down furniture and have tarps at the ready for rain or snow. If you’re not planning on using your deck in the winter, simply place tarps over the deck and furniture. Move furniture to a shed or garage to better protect it.

What about snow?

If you live in an area that receives snow, how should you handle it? If your deck gets covered with snow, shovel it along the deck boards, with the grain. This prevents scratches that be unsightly and ruin the stain. Never use a metal shovel, either! These are unnecessarily hard on the wood. While most tropical hardwoods can withstand some tough love, it’s always best to use a gentler option when possible. Lastly, don’t use rock salt on your deck! It can majorly damage your finish.

Contact the hardwood decking pros!

If you’re looking to build a new deck, call Hardwood Decking Supply at 866-452-2573. We provide the highest quality tropical hardwoods, including ipe, cumaru, batu, and garapa. By selling mill-direct lumber, we cut out the middleman. This lets us pass long the savings to our valued customers, both homeowners and contractors. When you contact Hardwood Decking Supply, you speak to real experts in our Sherwood, Oregon facility. We’ll help you find the best wood in the dimensions that will result in a beautiful, long-lasting deck.

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