Mark the date Friday, December 21 in your calendars because that is the first day of winter. It’s hard to believe but the snowy season is just around the corner and if you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to do some simple housekeeping to protect your deck or porch against the winter weather heading our way. Although some of you may not be looking forward to winter, the good news is putting in just a small amount of effort now will ensure that your outdoor space is good to go as soon as that warm weather returns. The outdoor experts here at Frontier have put together the below maintenance tips to ensure your winter preparation goes as smoothly as possible.
- First and foremost, be sure to inspect your deck or patio, including structural posts and supporting joists, for any cracks, needed repairs, or excessive wear and tear. Be sure to contact one of our qualified professionals if repairs are necessary.
- Clean your deck thoroughly to remove pollen, organic debris, dirt and any stains. To remove scattered organic materials such as leaves, a broom or blower generally work better than a hose.
- Use soap and water or mild household cleaners to remove any accumulated dirt. A standard, non-metal deck brush is your best bet for removing any debris from the graining.
- Check for any summertime spills or stains that may have been missed. Tackle grease and oil stains with an all-purpose cleaner or commercial deck cleaner specifically designed for composite decking if that’s what you have. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and test in an inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the entire deck.
- Pack away any decorative rugs or grill mats. And remember to never use a rug or mat with a rubber, vinyl, or latex backing. Any of these products could leave marks on your composite or PVC decking. Use high-quality polypropylene mats or woven rugs only.
- Mind that gap! And by that we mean the space between your deck boards. Organic debris such as leaves, seeds or pollen can settle and clog gaps. As water pools in these spaces, it will essentially steep any decaying leaves and result in the release of tannic acid that could stain your composite deck boards. Plus, this organic material is a strong food source for mold. Use a garden hose, spatula, putty knife, or similar tool to remove debris from clogged gaps.
- Store all deck, patio and porch furniture. Give it a quick cleaning first. If you absolutely must keep some pieces outside, remove cushions and pillows, clean and store them, and then purchase appropriate outdoor furniture covers to protect your belongings from the wrath of winter.
- Invest in a high-quality grill cover if your grill is going on hiatus until spring. Be sure to secure it so that it cannot blow off during a winter storm and get lost, or worse, end up frozen to your deck (yes, we’ve seen it happen!)
- Empty all flower pots and planters and clean them before storing for the season.
- Inspect outdoor lighting to ensure everything is working properly. Well-lit walkways are especially important when the ground is covered with snow or ice.
- Ensure that your gutters and downspouts are in good repair and aimed away from your deck or porch.
If you’re still unsure about how to prepare your backyard oasis for the winter season, call us today and we would be happy to provide you with some more tips and tricks so that when spring rolls around, your deck will be all ready to use as soon as the sun starts shining.