4 Ways Wintertime Weather Can Damage Your Deck


Wintertime weather is right around the corner. Snowfall and freezing temperatures can do a lot of damage to decks on homes located in cold climates. 

If you want to protect your deck, you need to be aware of the hazards. The following are four of the most common types of damage wintertime weather can cause to residential decks:

Potential of collapse

If you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall – and much of Canada does – you need to prevent the weight of accumulated snow on your deck from causing a collapse. 

After a heavy snowfall, you should be clearing off snow. Don't underestimate how heavy several inches or feet of snow can be. Decks are not necessarily designed to support the extreme loads that can be created by a wintertime snowstorm, so be vigilant. 

Snow removal damage

Snow removal itself can sometimes cause damage to a deck's surface. If you're using a shovel to remove snow, you might scratch up your deck. You can damage your deck with a snow shovel regardless of the decking material. Whether your deck is wood, composite, or plastic, snow shoveling can scrape away at the material and leave ugly scratches. 

Mold and mildew growth

Snowfall obviously exposes your deck to moisture as it begins to melt. If your deck is constantly kept moist for months at a time by a layer of heavy snowfall, mold and mildew problems will be likely to develop.

Mold and mildew growth develops most easily on decking material in areas between boards or in crevices in the wood on a wood deck. While your decking material is probably coated with a sealant to protect against mold and mildew growth, this sealant won't necessarily stand up against prolonged exposure to moisture. 

Freeze-thaw damage

Wintertime weather typically involves a lot of freezing and thawing of snowmelt. If snowmelt seeps into crevices in your deck, it will expand when it freezes. This could cause crevices to expand in your deck that will detract from its appearance. 

What can you do?

To prevent winter weather from damaging your deck, you should begin preparing for the cold weather in the fall. Inspect your deck for any mold or mildew growth and have it treated with bleach or another cleaning solution. Also, you can have your deck stained or apply a sealant to offer further protection against mold and mildew.

Once the snow arrives, you want to keep it cleared off your deck to prevent collapse and structural problems. You can use a shovel to clear away snow, but don't allow the shovel to come into direct contact with the deck surface. Instead, shovel away snow until there is a shallow layer left and then sweep away the rest with a broom. 

For more advice, speak with professionals like Desert Sun Patios Ltd Patios.


24 September 2015

building a custom garage for my family

This year, things were a little different over the winter. In winters past, I had to park my car in the driveway because my husband had our two-car garage filled with all of his man-toys. Each morning, I would have to struggle to break the ice and shovel the snow to get to my car, so last fall, I had enough and hired a contractor to build a garage just for me. My husband and I weren't sure about adding another structure to the property, but it is the best thing that we have done since we bought the house. Learn how my contractor helped my family with the design of the garage that he built.