If you have furniture on your deck, now is the time to store it for the winter. We recommend removing it off the deck and storing it elsewhere. If that is not feasible, leaving it on the deck is another option, just tarp it off to save the furniture from the elements. If your deck furniture is cast iron or steel, care should be taken so that no rust spots bleed onto the decking. Again, this is why removing it off the deck is the optimal choice. To prolong the life of your grill, a cover is a good idea when the grill will not be in use. Clay and ceramic flower pots should also be stored away from the elements as those tend to crack in colder temperatures.
- If you have a wood deck, now is the time to inspect your stain/sealer for excessive wear. If you have spots that need touched up, now is a good time, if the weather allows. Please read the application instructions on the stain you are using and follow them. Most will specify a certain temperature and moisture content. Do not forget to do a thorough cleaning prior to applying any stain.
- If you have a low-maintenance deck, any spots or stains that are left from the summer should be cleaned. Check your manufacturer's cleaning instructions. Manufacturers will specify a cleaning process based on what caused the stain. For example, cleaning ketchup might require a different process than would cleaning mold.
- A general cleaning would be appropriate if the deck needs it. The longer any dirt or stains sit, the more difficult it will be to remove that stain in the future.
- If you are going to shovel snow off your deck, make sure you are not going to use a steel edged snow shovel. It will scratch your deck.
These points will give you a general outline of how to bring the best out of your deck. Another thing to keep in mind is you will be looking at your deck for the next four months in the condition in which you leave it. One nice touch is adding lighting, whether built-in or removable. This will enhance the deck space during the winter months, casting a glow to the indoors as you wait for the weather to break. Even though the weather might be too cold to enjoy your deck outdoors, it can still add enjoyment as you sit inside waiting for the cold weather to break.
Your deck was built to be outside year around so there is not a lot you need to do. A few simple steps will help shorten your opening event in the spring and will help your deck optimally weather the winter.