Winter is upon us, and even though you may not use your redwood deck as often, it still needs a little TLC and attention during colder months. Fortunately, Humboldt Redwood decking is easier to winterize and maintain than many other materials. Take a few simple steps to get your deck prepped for the winter and you’ll be ready to enjoy it as soon as spring starts to warm things up.
The first, and possibly the most important, step in winterizing your Humboldt Redwood deck is to give it a good cleaning. Here’s how:
- Sweep off all debris from the deck.
- Use a mild cleaner that is formulated for wood, following the product instructions.
- Follow up by washing the deck with a watered down bleach solution to kill any mildew spores.
- Rinse the deck off with your garden hose.
- If there is significant mildew or discoloration instead of the mild cleaner use a mixture of one cup bleach, one cup trisodium phosphate and one gallon warm water. Next apply a solution of 4 ounces of oxalic acid crystals dissolved in a gallon of warm water. Apply with a soft bristled brush then allow it to dry before rinsing the deck off with your garden hose.
It’s also important to inspect the deck after cleaning to make sure no debris is caught between the boards, which could lead to drainage issues.
Laying Down a Layer of Protection
Moisture from rain, sleet, or snow can have an impact on a redwood deck during winter. Redwood can weather naturally and withstand the elements on its own, but using a sealer, stain or mildewcide solution provides an extra layer of protection. Just make sure it’s between 50 and 70° Fahrenheit on the day that you apply the finish.
Check for Structural Problems & Imperfections
The harsh winter months will do nothing but exasperate any current problems. Carefully inspect the deck on all sides, including the substructure underneath. Look for rot and decay, cracks, loose boards, splintering, handrail instability, and structural issues on any stairs on the deck.
Any questionable spots should be addressed right away.
Remove Furniture and Accessories
If you’re not using your outdoor furniture and accessories, it’s best to find somewhere to store these items to keep them out of the elements and off the wood. Storing the furniture will also improve its longevity and make it easier to keep up proper deck maintenance throughout the winter months.
Deck Condition Issues to Look Out for During Winter
After winterizing the deck, a few other things to regularly monitor include:
Water pooling up or freezing – During the cooler months if water collects on the deck and temperatures drop, water may freeze over which can cause slipping for anyone that walks across the deck surface. After it rains or snows use a push broom to remove the water. Refrain from using shovels, salt, or other chemical ice removers all of which can damage the deck surface.
Rust – If metal planters, furniture and grills aren’t removed, rust can transfer to the deck surface. As above, it is recommended to store these items elsewhere if not in use during the winter months.
Why Redwood Decking is the Best Winter Option
When it comes to winter weather nothing outperforms Humboldt Redwood decking. Even if the temperature drops Humboldt Redwood will hold up outdoors and continue to look great for years because it’s:
- Weather resistant and durable even during extreme conditions
- Not as susceptible to shrinking as other types of wood
- Able to retain sealers and stains well
- Easy to care for – redwood maintenance is minimal throughout the year
Oftentimes people build decks in the summer, and they decide to use Humboldt Redwood for its visual appeal, durability and longevity as well as its insect and rot resistance. Little do they know months down the road when the cold sets in their deck will continue to look amazing and offer all the same benefits!