Preparing for Winter

Some tips to look after your deck before the snow really flies in Steamboat Springs, Colorado!

Grab your shovel you use on your deck and push it around to find any screws that snag. Grab your screw gun and either screw them back down, or better yet replace it with a new screw. Same goes for nails, pound them back in with a nail punch, or replace it with a new screw.

Come springtime, you should take the time to do the same task. Get your hands on a power washer, and hit your deck from all angles. Be careful not to get the power washing wand too close to the decking as it can cause damage to the boards.

Walk around the deck and give all the handrails and other aspects of the deck a wiggle. Tighten up some of the hardware that secures all of this. Be careful not to over tighten anything, you could split the wood.

All flat surfaces of a deck should be re-stained or painted every year. The top layer is where all the moisture hangs out and penetrates your decking. There are lots of great paints and stains available. Sometimes in an exterior application, an oil based stain is the way to go. This is especially true if the wood is already showing a bit of wear. Sherwin Williams makes some great water based products too. Water-based products offer quick, soap-and-water clean up while oil-based finishes require solvents. On the other hand, oil-based coatings offer excellent results with just one coat, while water-based finishes usually need two. Deckscapes is to be used on all flat, horizontal surfaces, decking, and Woodscapes is to be applied on all vertical surfaces. If you play your cards right you can probably get away with doing the vertical surfaces, like handrails, every other year.

Splurge and go out and invest in some polymer decking, like Trex. This is made of recycled plastic and sawdust to make a super durable product. It is a Green product, and you don’t have to spend a weekend staining your deck ever again! Choose a lighter color if you can, as it will attract less light and thus will not get as hot in the summer.

Now your deck is ready for winter!

Don’t forget to put away your deck furniture for the winter. Some people think that this stuff will be fine outside, but it is best to try to find cover for it.

Make sure to shovel your deck after each storm. Over time, this makes it much less of a task to shovel. If you let it pile up it will certainly be an arduous, back-breaking task. Get rid of it while it is light and Champagney! Also, as the snow melts, the water seeps down into the decking and underneath the framing. It will then freeze again and expand, popping deck boards and causing damage to your deck. If you ignore the snow for too long, next spring you won’t be just staining, you’ll be building a new deck!

Now, bring on powder!

Do you own a vacation home in Steamboat Springs? Do you really want to spend your summer vacations down on your hands and knees fixing your deck? Or, do you really want to have to remember to find some guy to get this done every year? Let me take care of your honey-do list so you can truly enjoy your vacation home. Contact me today for a personalized quote.