The leaves are changing, and the temperatures are dropping. The colder months are upon us, and, as homeowners, it’s essential to prepare our outdoor living spaces for the winter. Your deck is a place to spend time with family, friends, and neighbors during the warmer seasons. However, protecting the deck from the elements is necessary as the weather changes. Here are several tips to help you improve and prepare your deck for winter.

Prepare Your Deck for Winter

1. Clean the Deck

Your deck is exposed to dirt, algae, leaves, and other debris; the buildup could cause staining and damage to the materials. Begin by sweeping off fallen twigs, debris, dirt, and leaves, then pressure wash the surface. Let the deck dry completely before sealing the wood.

2. Seal the Wood to Prepare Your Deck for Winter

Sealing your deck is one of the most important steps in preparing it for winter. Sealing provides a protective layer to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood. When water penetrates the wood, it causes the material to weaken and swell, which could lead to cracks, splitting, or rot. To protect your decking materials, apply a weather-resistant wood sealant.

3. Inspect the Deck

Before winter approaches, inspect the deck thoroughly. Check for damaged or rotting wood, loose railings, splintering, loose nails or screws, and other signs of wear and tear. Repair damage to keep the deck safe and prevent the issues from worsening.

4. Cover the Patio Furniture

Your outdoor furniture may not be durable enough to withstand the harsh winter weather, so cover it or store the pieces inside. Clean the furniture well to remove dirt and debris, and use weather-resistant furniture covers if you have nowhere to store your pieces indoors.

5. Add Lighting

As the days get shorter, add lighting to your backyard deck. Adequate lighting helps you create an inviting ambiance and warmth, making the backyard deck feel cozier. String lights, lanterns, and solar-powered stake lights are easy to install and are great ways to provide much-needed lighting during the shorter days of winter.

Preparing your deck for winter is essential to ensure it lasts for years. These tips will help you update your outdoor living space, protect your deck from harsh winter weather, prevent expensive repairs, and keep your family and friends safe. You can enjoy the deck year-round with proper maintenance and preparation.

Mich-Inspect offers inspection services to homebuyers and sellers in central Michigan. Contact us to request an appointment.