As fall ushers in shorter days and crisp air, we begin the process of getting our outdoor spaces ready for winter: prepping our garden beds, putting away the yard games, and maintaining the exterior of our homes. Fall is also the time to clean up our decks and consider how we can protect them from the cold, snowy weather to come.

Now is the perfect time to tackle some fall deck maintenance to get your deck in top condition to withstand the winter and be ready for you to enjoy when spring rolls around again.

  1. Clear Off Your Deck’s Surface & Store Furnishings

Remove everything you can from your deck’s surface so you can get a clear picture of its condition. This includes deck furniture, rugs, grills, umbrellas, and planters. Be careful not to scratch the deck’s surface when moving items around.

When possible, store deck furniture in a shed or garage for the winter, rather than leaving it on the deck. This will not only protect your furniture from winter storms but will also make it easier to keep your deck clear of snow.

Prepare deck furniture for storage by covering it with sturdy — preferably fitted — covers. Use a material that offers waterproofing as well as protection from scratches for any delicate furniture.


  1. Inspect Your Deck & Make Repairs

Next, check your deck for safety concerns or damage. Ideally, you want to spot and fix any issues before they become bigger problems:

  • Check for screws or nails that have become loose, as well as for loose boards and railings
  • Inspect structural supports, beams, and joists for damage 
  • Check your deck’s foundations, looking for signs of erosion 
  • Look for signs of rot in wood decking, such as a spongy feeling when you walk across your deck or screws that won’t hold onto the boards
  • Check for cracks or crevices in deck boards as well. They will only get worse as freezing water causes them to expand, so now is the time to address them 
  1. Remove Stains and Clean Your Deck Thoroughly

Through heavy use during the summer months, dirt and debris can build up on your deck’s surface. Planters, chairs, tables, and grills can also leave spots or stains on decking.

First, sweep all loose dirt or debris from your deck’s surface. Remove any leaves, twigs, grass, or other organic buildup from between the boards of your deck. This will ensure proper drainage for rain and melting snow.

Next, remove any stains and grime buildup. For grease stains from the grill, use a gentle degreaser (such as dishwashing detergent). Once stains have been dealt with, thoroughly clean your deck with a gentle cleaner and a soft bristle brush, or use a pressure washer

  1. Maintain the Area Surrounding Your Deck

Leaves and other debris that fall to your deck’s surface can cause discoloration and inhibit air circulation, leading to moisture buildup and possible damage

To help prevent this, keep nearby bushes and trees trimmed to about a foot away from your deck. If any tree branches look to be at risk of falling, cut them now, rather than waiting for them to come down this winter.

Cleaning and Maintenance Resources For Composite Decking

When it comes to caring for your composite decking, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning. Each composite decking manufacturer offers care instructions specific to their decking, which can be typically found on their websites.

Click the links below for cleaning and maintenance details from the brands we use at Outdoor Solutions: Trex, TimberTech, and Deckorators.

Tre

TimberTech

Deckorators

Make Fall Deck Maintenance a Habit, and Enjoy Your Deck for Years To Come

Wear and tear from summer use can leave your deck looking dirty, stained, and worn. Making fall deck maintenance a habit will not only keep your deck looking its best, but will also help protect it from winter storms and ensure you can enjoy your deck as soon as the snow melts and warm spring temperatures return next year

Tired of cleaning and maintaining your wooden deck? Consider replacing it with a new composite deck. Composite decking requires considerably less maintenance than wood, with equally beautiful results

Contact the team at Outdoor Solutions to start planning your new deck today!