How to prepare your decking for winter
Winter is just around the corner, and with it the potential for frost, ice, and even snow. Whilst no outdoor surface is immune to these harsh conditions, composite decking is more resilient than most. It can withstand the colder, wetter months without rotting, warping, or splitting and requires no sealants, stains, or paints to protect it from the elements.
However, even composite decking can benefit from a little TLC in the run up to the winter months to keep it safe and looking its best. Here are a few ways you can prepare your composite decking for the colder weather.
1. Sweep and clean your decking
During autumn fallen leaves and debris can accumulate on your decking making it slippery when wet. Not only can these be hazardous underfoot, if left they may cause discolouration to the surface of your composite decking. To keep your decking safe and looking stylish, regularly sweep away stray leaves and dirt with a stiff brush. You may also want to give your decking a wash with warm water to remove any stains before the winter weather sets in.
2. Trim and tidy foliage around and over your decking
Now is the time to trim and tidy those overhanging trees and plants, which could drop leaves on to your newly cleaned composite decking boards. By tidying your garden now, you’ll help prevent as much debris landing on your decking and accumulating over the cold winter months as possible.
3. Proactively repair decking damage
Composite decking will rarely need repairing, due to its robust and durable composition. However, you may have a timber substructure which could need some attention before the cold weather arrives. The condition of your substructure will impact your decking, so if it’s not safe and sound it could cause damage to the surface above. Making these repairs now will stand your decking in good stead to survive the winter.
4. Keep decking clear of snow and ice
If or when the snow arrives, it’s important to clear it regularly to keep your decking safe. Remember to use a plastic shovel rather than a metal one, which could cause irreversible damage.
If ice does form, simply sprinkle table salt over the surface to disperse it – do not use rock salt as this can scratch the surface – and once the weather warms up you can wash any salt residue away.
Although the decking will not be affected by the excess moisture, removing snow and ice will help to make your decking safer to walk on.
Preparing your composite decking for winter will ensure you can continue to use it safely no matter the weather. So whether you plan on alfresco dining, hosting the odd party or two, or simply admiring it from afar, your outdoor flooring will always look stunning.