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How to Protect Your Deck this Winter

Do you own a vinyl or wooden deck? The arrival of cold, snowy winter weather should pose no problem for your beloved deck — simply follow a few simple maintenance guidelines to help keep your deck in great condition!

Protecting Vinyl Decks During Winter

Deck builders typically construct residential decks using vinyl or wood surfaces over an underlying framework. The exterior covering makes a difference in the annual maintenance requirements. Vinyl decks in particular have gained widespread popularity in recent years because they typically require minimal cleaning efforts.  Keeping a vinyl deck clean is really just a simple matter of wiping up simple spills. Beyond that, the vinyl material means there isn’t much maintenance you need to consider.

Like we just mentioned, if you own a vinyl deck, you’ll likely welcome the limited maintenance responsibilities required to keep it attractive throughout the year. That convenience extends to maintenance during the winter months as well.

If you need to remove snow from a vinyl deck surface, you’ll find it helpful to use only shovels or scoops equipped with a soft, flexible plastic blade. Sharp edges of metal products can accidentally cut into vinyl surface and cause damage. After all, your vinyl deck was built to look great, don’t risk cutting, nicking, or taking chunks out of it. If you’re only dealing with a light dusting of snow, you can probably clear your vinyl deck using a broom with soft bristles. While that might not be enough to deal with snow blizzard dumped from a blizzard, it’ll suffice for the majority of our winters. Furthermore, if your deck is coated in ice, you can use the same scraper you would use on your car windshield.

Protecting Wooden Decks During Winter

If you own a wooden deck, chances are you’re accustomed to the more involved maintenance requirements. Depending on your specific wooden deck, it may be susceptible to moisture damage. Over time, waterlogged wood will warp. You may be able to protect exposed wooden surfaces with protective sealants. In fact, many well-built wooden decks come equipped with waterproofing. If not, a wide variety products can safeguard outdoor wooden decks from moisture. You can find these materials in both a transparent glossy form, and included within specific deck stain colors.

As it relates to keeping your deck protected during the winter, you need to be especially diligent about ensuring that you remove snow before it melts. Removing snow from a wooden deck as quickly as possible helps you reduce contact later between melting snow and exposed wooden surfaces. As is the case with vinyl decking, you should use a snow shovel with a soft plastic blade to avoid causing accidental surface damage to your wooden deck.

In addition, some manufacturers produce outdoor rubber or plastic backed carpeting designed to protect wooden deck surfaces from snow and rain during the winter; these products will eventually wear out, but they may help shield the surface of your deck from snow and ice, ultimately preserving the deck’s useful lifespan.

Deck Craft Plus, an expert deck builder

As our satisfied customers, and anyone with a deck knows, a deck is a great location for relaxing, entertaining or simply appreciating the beauty of the natural world. Keeping your deck in great shape can seem like a lot of work, but its worth it.  If your deck has seen better days and you want to upgrade to a practically, maintenance-free vinyl option, get in contact with us. We’d love to have a conversation about upgrading to the deck of your dreams.

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