Winter cannot be avoided, and that statement rings even more true when you live in Winnipeg, Manitoba (also known as Winterpeg, Mani-snowba). In addition to covering up your patio furniture and putting away your barbecue grill, below are some important steps to take to protect your deck from the chill.
Before the snow inevitably falls, sweep away any leaves or dirt from your deck. The last thing you’ll want to do when you can finally hit the deck the following summer is to clean up last year’s fall debris. Get it out of the way now so that’s one less thing for you to do the following year, as well as for peace of mind. Also, all the debris can build up between floorboards and on your deck. Snow and ice are then easily able to build up and lock in moisture. Moisture on your deck can then lead to damage. Do yourself a favour and get a broom. Thirty minutes of sweeping will save you a ton of money and headaches down the road.
Tannins from leaves can leave a permanent stain on all decking materials. Tannins are found naturally in plant materials (most well-known in coffee and teas) and decaying leaves can leave a hard to remove stain behind. A spot doesn’t necessarily mean the deck is stained forever, but it is much easier to prevent leaf stains than it is to remove in the spring. Your best maintenance here is to remove the leaves several times in the fall, don’t let them sit, and make sure none are left over the winter.
In a similar vein, remove any signs of mildew. They can cause damage to your deck if untreated throughout winter. You can purchase the appropriate products to get rid of mildew or create a homemade concoction using the household cleaners you have at home. Apply the solution to the deck’s surface, letting it sit as per the products specifications and then rinse off. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to check with your decking product supplier, to make sure the cleaner you use, will not ruin the cap stock surface of the decking.
For decks built with Duradeck and Wolf materials, you never have to stain or seal or use a protectant. One of the many benefits of these products and it’s why we use them on all Windeck builds. Real wood decks take a lot of maintenance to keep in good condition. You can skip all of that maintenance by using PVC decking keeping your maintenance requirements for winter to almost nothing.
One of the best ways to keep your deck safe during winter is to remove the snow from your deck on a regular basis. That means you will have to build up your upper body strength for the amount of shovelling you’re about to do. For the best results, move the shovel in the same direction as the boards in order to not damage the deck’s finish.
With all synthetic decking, we strongly recommend only using a plastic shovel (with no metal edging either). Metal shovels and metal-edged shovels can scratch and mar the surface of any deck. Be careful while shovelling and try not to hit edges on borders or inlays, as these are the most vulnerable points where damage can occur when shoveling in the winter months.
By taking preventative steps and some small work over the winter, you can ensure that your deck lasts a lifetime and survives the winter well.
Windeck knows all about winters in Winnipeg. Contact them to get started on your next deck project, or to get some more tips on how to care for your deck in the winter.