Your deck weathers all four seasons, so during the temperate days of fall take time to prepare for winter. Follow this checklist to make the most of your maintenance efforts:
- Whether you have a wooden or composite deck, fall is a great time to clean off the boards. Make sure you use a cleaner appropriate for your deck. If you’re using a power washer, be sure to use the right pressure and cleaning agent. Cleaning is good but damaging your deck with too high or too close a water stream won’t give you the desired result. Watch this video by Trex to learn more about how to clean composite boards.
- Check it out. Fall is the perfect time to inspect all boards, railings, and beams. Look for any loose boards or damaged wood. Fall provides an opportune time to replace your deck or its component parts. If you’re ready for a new deck, be sure to install Trex Protect to get more life out of your deck. Most decks can last about 25-30 years, but the deck’s substructure often rots and decays around 8-10 years. Applying Trex Protect joist and beam tape ensures that the deck’s substructure will last as long as the decking it supports.
- Dry it out. If you’re planning to apply a deck sealant to your wood to make it more waterproof, be sure to wait a couple of days after power washing to ensure the wood is dry. You don’t want to seal in moisture. If your deck is wood, you may need to stain/seal it every three to four years. Also, make sure any guttering around your deck is in good working order to prevent rain from pouring down on the wood and causing rot.
- Prune it back. During your inspection, check out the trees and bushes around the deck. Be sure to cut back any limbs that are hanging close to the deck. Winter snow and ice makes limbs much more susceptible to breakage. Broken limbs landing on the deck can potentially cause damage.
- Take it off. Be mindful of any fall decorations that could cause damage to your deck such as decaying pumpkins. Also, be sure to keep leaves and debris off the deck. According to Angie’s List, “If you don’t keep the deck clean, your pets and people walking around on the deck are going to grind particles – dust and dirt, seed pods, pieces of leaves and sticks – into the finish. Drips from the grill; all these things get attached to the finish and ultimately attack the wood. By keeping the deck clean, you’ll get the most wear out of your finish and appearance of the deck for as long as possible.”