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Now is the Time to Winterize Your Deck

11/16/2015 04:41AM ● Published by Family Features

As the leaves begin to fall and change color and cooler weather begins to take over, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your outdoor space. While your deck receives a lot of use during the summer with foot traffic, summer storms, scorching heat and high humidity, fall and winter bring in a whole other slew of wearing elements.

With snow, ice and wet slush that sits on the wood until it melts and a lack of sunlight that increases drying time, your deck is going to need some pampering and now is the perfect time to get started.

With these simple yet effective tips from the experts at Wood. It’s Real., you can have your deck ready for the harsh winter elements in no time:

  • Pack it up. Now is the time to do some seasonal de-cluttering. Store items such as planters, which can cause decay and discoloration to your decking if they sit out all winter. Also put away furniture and cushions you don’t expect to use until warmer weather returns.

  • Clean it. Use a power washer to remove accumulated dirt and any signs of staining or damage, such as mildew. Remember that cleaning isn’t just about appearance, it’s also about protecting the woodwork, so be sure to wash both the top and bottom of the deck.

  • Inspect and repair it. Inspect your deck for signs of wear and tear from the warmer months and make any necessary repairs or upgrades. If your deck falls into disrepair, replace boards or the entire deck using Southern Yellow Pine, which is cost-effective, high-quality and environmentally friendly. Southern Yellow Pine resists the aging process better than most wood and has a slightly porous surface that eagerly accepts any color of stain you want to apply.

  • Protect it. You can easily test whether it’s time to add a protective coating to your deck by checking whether water beads or soaks into the wood. You may be able to spot treat with waterproofing or stain by sanding the affected areas and reapplying. However, if the problem area is widespread or you can’t remember the last time you stained or waterproofed the entire deck, it’s probably time to do it again.

  • Maintain it. Shovel snow regularly using a plastic shovel; metal shovels can ding and gouge wood. Use sand rather than salt or ice melt products that can harm the surface of your deck and be sure to brush of any excess when the weather clears.

Find more tips to help get your deck winter-ready at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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