Before the chill in the air turns into harsh Westchester winter weather, clean and protect your deck to prepare it for the long winter months ahead.
As the leaves start to change color, you may find yourself reminiscing about the hours of enjoyment spent outside on your deck. While warm-weather gatherings and summer barbecues are a favorite pastime of the season, the combination of foot traffic, food spills, and weather can take its toll on any deck. But with a few simple steps, you can winterize your deck so it survives the onslaught of ice, snow, sleet, and moisture that can cause damage during the months ahead.
1. Clean the Deck Thoroughly
Ground-in dirt and barbecue stains can ruin your deck’s appearance and ultimately cause degrading of the wood. Exposure to the sun can cause wood to turn gray and exposure to moisture can create the perfect conditions for the growth of mold, mildew, moss, and algae. All these conditions make it important to clean your deck thoroughly to remove the remnants of summer and get it ready for winter. A professional powerwash is an inexpensive way to clean and protect your deck at the end of the season.
If your stained or painted deck has seen better days, consider stripping any faded or deteriorating finish prior to applying a water-repellent sealer or stain.
2. Apply a Protective Finish
After cleaning, it’s important to apply a water-repellent finish to protect your deck against the damaging effects of winter. Moisture such as ice, snow, sleet, and rain can penetrate an unprotected surface, which can cause splitting, cracking, and warping. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of premium exterior wood finishes that offer protection against the elements while giving you the opportunity to achieve any desired look. Let the experts at Korth & Shannahan Painting and Carpentry help you select the best product to apply.
3. Repair Loose or Broken Boards
Maintaining your wood deck may also require repairing or replacing loose or broken boards that can make your deck unsafe to walk on. Surface boards, as well as joists, can rot, so inspect the deck at least once a year for signs of rot. Even a pressure-treated or preserved-wood deck can suffer loose screws or boards. It’s best to hire a professional Westchester Carpenter to replace any boards that are twisting, lifting, or rotten. Contact a professional if you see any signs of rot, as this is a bigger job and will require repairing or replacing the joists. If the rot is localized to a specific area of the joist, a “sister” board can be attached to the joist to support the surface boards instead of replacing the entire joist. A professional will be able to determine if this is the best course of repair. To replace the old board with a new one, drill pilot holes into the board where it should attach to the joists, then screw in the new board to the joists.
4. Matching the Finish Stain
You’ll want to match the finish stain of the replaced board to the existing boards. Use the same type of stain originally used on the deck. You can pre-stain the board before installing it, or you can stain it after you replace it.
Stains come in many different colors, from light to dark. You can match the color of the deck to the siding on your house or use a complementary color to the hue of your home. Stains come in transparent types that allow the grain of the wood to show through, and there are semi-transparent finishes that color the wood but still allow the grain to show through. For the most color, solid stains completely hide the grain of the wood.
If you need help with any of your Westchester home projects, Korth & Shannahan Painting and Carpentry can service your home in Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Katonah, Bedford, Bronxville, Armonk. Just give us a call for all your Westchester power washing, carpentry & painting needs at 914-238-5388.