Wooden Deck Ideas: Protecting Your Deck Before Winter

When you live in a Northeastern city like Philadelphia, the winter can render your deck useless. So if you have a deck attached to your Philly home, here are a few wooden deck ideas that will help you protect it from excessive wear and tear.

When you live in a Northeastern city like Philadelphia, the winter can render your deck useless. If snow piles up near your deck door, you might not even be able to open it to do some shoveling. Snow and moisture can also degrade and warp the wooden surfaces over time. So if you have a deck attached to your Philly home, here are a few wooden deck ideas that will help you protect it from excessive wear and tear.

First, Protect Your Deck Furniture

If your deck is used for outdoor entertainment and relaxation, make it a point to protect your deck furniture before the winter arrives. Remove all cushions to prevent the development of mold and mildew and put them into dry plastic bags until spring. Organize all chairs and tables in one corner of your deck — preferably in a place that will be minimally impacted by moisture and snow during the season. Also, remember to bring any herbs and plants on your deck inside of the house.

Fix Broken Floorboards

General maintenance is important for your deck if you want it to last for decades. It’s a good idea to check it thoroughly every year to see if the boards need to be repaired or nails replaced. The parts that your builder used to assemble the deck are readily available at your local home improvement store, so before the winter season comes, take a moment to check your floorboards. Fix or replace all broken floorboards and hammer in all exposed nails to help keep the boards secure. If you’re not familiar with this type of work, hire a carpenter to take care of this maintenance task for you.

Water Resistant Deck Stain

Another way to protect your deck is to coat it with a high quality, water-resistant stain. This is a worthwhile purchase that will help extend the life of the wood planks, so invest in the best. First, use a pressure washer and deck cleaning solution to wash and rinse the wood thoroughly. Allow the wood to dry completely before applying the stain with an appropriate paint brush. Two coats may be necessary depending on the age and condition of your deck.

Wooden Deck Furniture - Flickr/Michael Fraley

Image Source: Flickr/Michael Fraley

Tarp Covering

One simple strategy for protecting your deck during the winter is to cover it with a non-porous, heavy tarp — preferably the type of tarp that is used to cover and protect a pool in the winter. A tarp will prevent moisture and snow from seeping into the wood and reduce the possibility of warping over time. Secure the tarp to the deck with nails or hooks at the corners to withstand wind gusts. If your deck furniture is made of wood also, be sure to cover that with the tarp as well for protection.

The average life expectancy of a wooden deck is about 10 to 15 years. You can extend that number by many years by using these wooden deck ideas to prepare and protect your deck before the winter arrives.

Main Image Source: Flickr/DebMomOf3

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2 Comments

  1. Frank Dolski
    November 21, 2015

    Louse,
    Some great ideas for protecting and maintaining your deck. It is such an expensive addition to a home that just a little but of TLC goes a long way. Of course, there are maintenance-free decks which do not require as much attention.

    Reply
  2. Penny Lee
    August 8, 2017

    I have covered my deck with plastic sheeting for many years.
    between the old i puncture holes with a pencil, this lets the air go throw.
    As soon as the snow melts, i remove the plastic so that there is no rot that forms.
    I live in Montreal.

    Reply

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