Tips to keep your deck clean during the winter
Central Indiana can have its long winters of heavy snow and freezing temperature, but it can also have mild winters with hardly any snow and a handful of bitterly cold days. Regardless of how severe or mild the winter season was, we still have our annual spring cleaning. Legacy Painting has a few tips to help maintain your deck during a winter season to ensure your deck lasts longer.
Make sure to keep your deck cleaned off during the winter months. After a snowfall, depending on the accumulation, shovel off the snow but be careful not to scrape the edge of the shovel on the decking if you’re using a metal shovel or one with a metal blade – leave a thin layer of snow on top. A deck is not a concrete driveway – so one thing you can do once you’ve left a thin layer of snow with the shovel is to use a push-broom and finish it off.
You can also purchase a snow shovel with a plastic blade (not a metal blade) to minimize any potential scratching or damage. But if it’s a light snow and small accumulations, a push broom will work just fine. If and when you do use a shovel, make sure to shovel parallel with the boards.
Winter can also bring freezing rain and ice but unlike the driveway and sidewalks, sprinkling salt on the deck can cause damage a wood deck not to mention that salt is corrosive to the metal hardware keeping it all together. Do Not put salt or any calcium chloride product on your wood or even a composite deck. Furthermore, some salts that have color in them can also discolor your deck. Some would say to put sand on your deck for traction – while that is fine, keep in mind there is potential for sand to scratch the deck, so be advised when using sand.
Instead, find a deicer that is safe for wood decking – Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) is our recommended solution for deicing a wooden deck and usually comes in pellet form. You can find CMA at Ace Hardware or most other hardware stores, but be sure to read the labels or ask a customer service rep to verify you’re purchasing the correct product.
After Winter Sealant Test
After the winter season is over, we have some spring cleaning to do, but it’s also a good time to double check how your deck sealer is holding up. One way to test if you need to refinish your deck after a long winter is a water test.
The water test is simple – pour a small amount of water on a few areas of your deck and wait. After a couple minutes, see if the water is soaking into the wood or the water is still being repelled by just lying on the surface.
If the water soaks into the wood after a couple minutes, the wood is ready to be stained again.
If the stain is still repelling the water, you can hold off a little longer if you would like.
To learn some more deck tips, you can also check out another post we did about “11 Common Deck Staining Questions”.
If you’re looking for a quality deck staining contractor in the Indianapolis, IN area to stain your deck this year, consider choosing Legacy Painting. Call us at (317) 426-7228 or fill out our estimate request form.
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