Winterizing Your Deck and Fence

 

As the leaves start changing colors and begin to fall, it is also time to start preparing your deck and fence for the long winter months ahead. Preservation of the cedarwood is key to keeping the deck and fence looking beautiful for many more years to come.

Most people think of landscaping techniques to winterize their yard, but deck and fence maintenance is equally as important. Exposure of sun during summertime can cause wood to turn gray, and exposure to moisture can create the perfect condition for mold, mildew and algae growth.

 

Winterizing your deck and fence ensures that it will survive the rain, sleet, ice, and snow that can cause damage during the winter months. Moisture can penetrate an unprotected wood surface, which can cause splitting, cracking, and warping. It is also important to make sure not to just rake leaves against the fence, as leaves collect moisture and will damage the fence.

Therefore, fall is a great time to perform annual deck and fence maintenance:

  • Prepare and Restore: Remove dirt, leaves, and debris
    • Use a bleach-free cleaner specifically formulated for wood to restore a deck and fence to it’s natural beauty without yellowing
  • Eliminate Mildew: Use a mixture of water, oxygen bleach, and ammonia-free liquid dishwasher detergent
    • Allow it to set on the surface for 10-15 minutes and then simply rinse the surface clean
  • Move Pots and Planters: Consider moving them inside for the winter months,or make sure to move them around in different spots on a regular basis
  • Inspect Fence and Deck for Signs of Damage: Check that posts are structurally sound and that none of the boards are loose or damaged.
    • Signs of rot include boards caving in, loose and wobbly posts, and gates that sag or will not close properly.
    • Check for splinters and broken nails
    • Wood putty can be used to patch small hole or cracks and make sure to replace boards that are damaged beyond repair.
  • After cleaning, apply a protective water-repellent finish to protect the deck and fence against the elements

 

To ensure that the deck or fence has been properly waterproofed, perform a “splash test.” If the water beads up, it is well protected. Using a higher quality brand of finish can end up saving a lot more money in the long run if the wood gets damaged during the winter months. When the snow starts to fall, use a plastic shovel lengthwise on the deck boards to minimize scratching. Also, try to avoid salt or other ice melt products since it can discolor or damage finishes.

If you find yourself in need of a new fence or deck repairs, you will want to get this project done before winter hits, so contact Prime Fence Company, LLC today! Now, it is time to enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Latte and watch football while enjoying the wonderful fall weather!

 

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