It only takes a little work to keep a New Hampshire winter from doing any serious damage to your deck. First, you’ll want to clean and prepare your deck in autumn. Then, it’s important to be aware of how to treat your deck over the winter.
Before the first snow flies be sure to remove all furniture and decorations from your deck. Sweeping off any debris now can prevent against stains and mildew. If there are already marks from furniture etc it can be a good idea to wash those now with a hose or scrubbing with a mild detergent. Check for loose boards, nails sticking out, cracks or other signs of damage. Repairing those now before water can get in and freeze could make the difference between a minor repair and a more expensive job.
Depending on the material of your deck you may notice that the finish is peeling or fading. If that is the case it may be a good idea to restain and/or reseal your deck. Over the winter it’s important to address snow removal properly in order to maintain your deck. Your deck does not need to be kept completely clear of snow. However, if you use your deck as a safety exit it is important to keep that pathway clear. A good rule of thumb for particularly snowy winters is to keep the level of snow below that of the railings. A structurally sound deck should be able to support the weight of snow to that point.
If and when you do shovel your deck the important thing to remember is to follow the boards, Shoveling perpendicular to the boards is a good way to catch the blade of the shovel and potentially damage a board. It is best to use a plastic shovel rather than metal on your deck to avoid gouges and scratches. Following these guidelines should keep your deck in good shape for next spring. Here at Diamond Hill Builders we’re ready to help you with any deck repairs in order to prepare for winter.