Your deck is an investment, so it’s important to keep it lasting as long as possible. Winter brings cold temperatures, ice, snow, and other weather that can cause your deck to be more difficult than usual to navigate. Proper deck upkeep is key to keeping your outdoor living space safe for family, friends, and guests this holiday season. Here are some helpful winter deck safety tips to use this winter.
Winter Deck Safety Step 1: Protect Your Deck
Keeping your deck clean is vital during the winter. If you have a place (other than your deck) to store outdoor furniture and planters, consider putting them away for the season so that you can avoid moisture leaching and deck stains. If there are still leaves sitting on your deck, sweep them away to prevent mold and mildew buildup. If your deck hasn’t been sealed in a while, it’s beneficial to use a high-quality sealant to protect the wood from moisture and other damage.
Step 2: Snow Removal
Snow and ice are inevitable in winter – at least for our part of the country. Prevent slips and falls by keeping your deck free of snow and ice after winter storms hit. Use these winter deck safety tips for proper removal:
- Do not use a metal shovel, as it can leave unsightly scratches on your deck.
- Using a broom is ideal for light dustings of snow.
- Be cautious when using ice-melting products on your deck, as many of these products can stain or damage the wood.
- Shovel parallel to deck boards to avoid scratches.
- Gently remove icicles that hang over your deck so they do not fall and dent the deck’s surface.
Step 3: Use Safe Practices
If you and your family use your deck to enter and exit your home, it’s especially important to use the deck cautiously. Always clear snow to ensure there is a clean and ice-free path to and from your house. Consider shoveling the path around the edge of your deck, so that you can grab the railing for support if conditions are slippery.
Turn on outdoor lighting when using your deck at night, or if you know your family members will be coming home after the sun has gone down. And remember, just because the surface looks clear doesn’t always mean there is no ice that has formed. Always be cautious and take it slow when navigating your deck this winter.
Your Maryland Lumber and Decking Experts
J.F. Johnson Lumber Company has a variety of decking options for homeowners that are looking to upgrade an existing deck or build one from the ground up. In addition, we have plenty of safety products like railings and deck lighting that can be installed to better protect you and your family this winter. Contact us to learn more about our lumber and decking products today.