Outdoor decks get lots of use during the summer. From lazy days reading a book in the sun to cookouts with family and friends, some people practically live on their decks from May through September. As the cooler temperatures and crisp air of autumn creeps in, though, it’s time to start thinking about getting your deck ready for the long cold months ahead.
Decks can suffer a good deal of wear and tear during the busy summer months, and this damage can worsen if left alone during the harsh weather that winter brings. That said, a little maintenance at the start of fall can leave your deck in great shape for surviving winter so that it’s ready to use on those first warm days of spring.
Clean Your Deck
Any stains your deck incurred over the summer will become much more permanent if they’re left to sit all winter. Giving your deck a thorough cleaning will lift off the spilled BBQ sauce and pet residue before it sinks into the wood. Make sure to use a bleach-free cleaner to protect the natural color of your wood deck. There are a number of products that can be easily attached to your garden hose and used to spray down your deck. You may need to do a little scrubbing for any specific stains.
Protect Your Deck
Once your deck is squeaky clean, you’ll want to apply a water-repellent protective layer to ward off the moisture that winter will bring. A protective finish will prevent water from penetrating your deck over the next several months. Without it, you could end up with splitting or warped boards come spring.
Repair Your Deck
If cleaning and protecting your deck has you noticing other areas of disrepair, it might be a good idea to tackle these issues now. A deck repair specialist can help you replace loose boards, upgrade handrails, or level areas that are warped or uneven. The benefit of taking care of these issues before winter comes are twofold. For one, services for deck repair are often cheaper in the fall than during the spring as there is typically less demand. And secondly, deal with these issues now and your deck will be ready for those first warm days of spring!
Finding A Qualified Deck Specialist
While there are lots of people who choose to go the DIY route when it comes to deck maintenance, there are plenty of qualified deck specialists who can make sure that the job is done well and that you deck is in tip-top shape before the winter months creep in. Read online reviews to narrow down options of qualified specialists in your area. Have a clear idea of what work you want done and get quotes from multiple providers to compare rates. Also, don’t be afraid to ask if there are any deals available. Oftentimes deck specialists are less busy during this time of year as many customers put off deck maintenance until the spring, meaning they might have promotions available.