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How To Winterize A Wooden Deck

Your wooden deck sees a great deal of weather exposure throughout the year, but the winter months are the ones that are the hardest on wood deck boards. If you don't prepare your deck to withstand the low temperatures and heavy snowfall, you risk structural damage, warping, and all sorts of other damage. Fortunately, the winterization process for wooden decks is a straightforward one.

Remove Patio Furniture

The first thing that you should do to winterize your deck is to remove as many pieces of furniture and appliances from your deck. Those items that cannot be moved should be covered with tied down tarps, and you should complete the following steps working around the covered items.

General Cleaning

Once the surface of your deck is completely clear of all appliances and patio furniture, you should then clean off the surface itself. This will remove residue and organic debris which can hold onto moisture, which can in turn cause water damage and staining to your deck boards. Avoid using pressure washers and harsh chemicals, which can damage the surface of your wood. Instead, you can use a stiff bristled broom or a leaf blower to remove loose leaves, twigs, and other debris. Then, you can use a scrubbing brush with a mixture of general cleaning detergent to remove stuck on stuck on dirt and other contaminants: be sure to rinse down the deck thoroughly with a garden hose afterwards to remove any cleaning chemical residue which may remain.

Minor Repair Work

After you've cleaned the surface of your deck off, you should also check to see what repairs you need to do. Elevated or loose deck screws should be retightened either with a screwdriver or a drill, while damaged or warped boards should be entirely replaced. Check the latticework around the edges of the deck as well, and replace broken sections as needed to keep pests from taking up residence underneath your deck. Apply new deck screws or nails to boards that are loose and shaky to prevent them from shifting under the weight of ice and snow.


The final thing that you should consider doing for your wooden deck before the snow falls, depending on its age and the condition of the wood, is applying a new coat of stain. Waterproof stains will help keep melting snow from causing water damage to your deck boards once the temperature warms up. Stain can be applied just like paint, though for best results you should apply at least two thin coats over the entirety of your deck.

Reach out to companies that offer deck services to get more winterizing tips.