6 Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Deck or Patio

calander Dec 3 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Woman on her deck in the winter

With winter right around the corner, it’s time to start getting your deck or patio ready for the cold conditions to come. Every season comes with its share of threats to your outdoor spaces, but winter is often the most unforgiving -- snowfall, freezing temperatures, and biting winds can all take a toll on your deck, patio, and other exterior surfaces if they’re not properly protected. Keeping your outdoor features safe during winter depends on both preventative and ongoing maintenance measures. Here are six winter maintenance tips to safeguard your deck and/or patio from winter’s wrath.

How to Maintain Your Property in Winter

1. Remove Everything You Can Before Winter Sets In

Winter deck maintenance and protection starts with establishing a clean slate. After all, there’s only so much you can do with patio furniture, grilling equipment, decorations, and other objects resting on top of your deck or patio. Before winter has entered with full force, then take any moveable objects off your deck or patio and store them somewhere safe for the season -- you won’t be needing them until things warm up again, anyway. Now that your outdoor living space is empty, you can begin taking the following preventative steps.

2. Give Your Deck or Patio a Good Cleaning

Experts recommend cleaning your deck or patio at least once a year (twice, ideally). Power washing offers the most efficient method of deck/patio cleaning, as it blasts away debris, dirt, and grime that’s accumulated over the past several months. It’s important to use the proper settings, technique, and cleaning solution(s) when washing your outdoor spaces this way, as the wrong approach can wind up damaging them. Properly cleaning your deck before winter has truly started will increase its durability, prepare it for any coatings you might apply, and reveal areas of concern that may require repairs.

3. Take Care of Repairs

Speaking of repairs, now’s the time to tackle deck or patio fixes that need addressing -- if you leave these problems hanging, they’ll only get worse during winter. Most people can handle minor issues like loose fasteners, small cracks, etc. Seek nearby carpentry services for larger concerns involving wood surfaces, like warped boards and rot (decking contractors may have expertise in repairing concrete or stone patios as well).

4. Seal Your Deck and Patio from Water and Other Threats

Moisture is the primary threat facing your outdoor surfaces during winter, typically in the forms of ice and snow. If your deck or patio isn’t thoroughly waterproofed, you might face discoloration, warping, cracking, mold, etc., by the time winter comes to an end. Do yourself and your outdoor surfaces a favor and apply the right coatings before winter’s start. Wooden decks require high-quality deck stain designed to guard against moisture, sunlight, pests, and more. As for concrete patios, seek patio coatings made from polyurea, epoxy, urethane, or similar materials.

5. Cover Your Deck or Patio with Tarp

Sealing your deck and patio with the proper coatings will offer a great deal of protection, but you can’t stop the snow from falling. You can, however, prevent said snow and ice from making direct contact with your deck’s surfaces. Covering your deck or patio with a tarp can be a major help this winter, but keep in mind that certain coverings can also trap moisture if they’re not properly configured. If you’re not sure how to go about covering your deck in this way, seek professional help.

6. Keep Snow Away

Even if you’ve taken all the previous steps to shield your deck or patio from the worst of winter, it’s crucial to stay vigilant all season long. Indeed, the more you can do to keep snow and ice off of your outdoor surfaces, the better. So, have a shovel or snow blower at the ready and, after any major snowfall, remove every inch of it from your deck or patio. Staying on top of this snow removal will reduce the amount of pressure placed upon your deck and patio and mitigate moisture intrusion.

Let Your Deck or Patio Win This Winter

The cold season can be rough on your outdoor spaces. With the right preparations, however, you can rest assured that your deck or patio will be in great shape when it emerges from hibernation. Anderson Painting is here to help our clients with all their exterior preparation needs this season and beyond. To learn more about us and all we can do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!