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How to Winterize Your Deck the Right Way

Posted 25 October 2022 8:19 PM by ProWood

With winter arriving in the next couple of months, many of us are starting a to-do list for our outdoor entertainment space before the ground freezes. Be prepared with these five essential steps:

1. Store Your Outdoor Furniture

The first thing to do is to remove all outdoor furniture from your deck, or you’ll risk the cold weather damaging it, especially the weight of the snow. It’s best to store everything in a dry, dark place. Don’t have an organized place to store it? For the smaller items, try building this storage shelf unit with this FREE detailed project plan. Organizing your outdoor furniture and accessories will help make it easier to reopen your deck in the spring.


ProWood/Storage Shelf Unit Project Plan


2. Remove Debris & Wash

If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow during the winter, it is crucial to remove the brush, leaves, and dirt from your deck. Debris can get trapped under the heavy layer of snow, which might compromise the quality of your deck in the springtime.

After removing loose debris, it’s important to wash your deck to remove any stubborn debris. There are two ways to do this: with a wood deck cleaner and a stiff broom, or with a power washer. 


3. Repair if Necessary

If there are pre-existing damages to your deck, it’s best to repair them right away because they can worsen due to temperature changes and the weight of the snow. Common deck issues include:

  • Structural weaknesses

  • Board rot & gaps

  • Protruding nails

Whether you need to replace whole or partial boards or resecure nails (or replace them with screws), repair it before winter arrives. 


 4. Apply a Water-Resistant Sealer

Once your deck is completely dry and repairs are completed, apply a few coats of a high-quality exterior water-repellent sealant (how do you know when it’s completely dry? Check out: How to Take Care of Pressure-Treated Lumber to learn more). Completing this step will boost the longevity of your deck when it comes springtime.

stevecoleimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus 

5. Trim Trees and Bushes

Not only is prepping your deck for winter important but clearing up the surroundings as well. The weight of snow can cause overhung tree branches to break off and fall on your deck during the winter, causing unforeseeable damage. With a pruner or a garden lopper, remove stems and branches that hang above your deck or do not have a firm connection with the rest of the plant.    

Completing these five critical steps before winter will boost the longevity of your deck for years to come. Now you can check this off your list; successfully winterizing your deck!




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