Sure, you wouldn’t put “winterize your deck” at the top of your most-desirable chores list. (Also, does anyone have a “most desirable chores” list? Because we need some of that can-do attitude.) This doesn’t mean, however, that winterization isn’t extremely important. If you want your decking to last all winter long, you must make a plan to keep it safe through rain, sleet, and snow.
Firstly, winterizing your deck depends on the material. For example, an aluminum deck will require different preparation than a wooden one. For all decking materials, however, you should start with these basic steps:
Sweep the deck off thoroughly. If anything sticks to the deck (like a sappy branch), gently pull it up by hand rather than grinding at it with the broom or another tool. This is very important, as leaving leaves or branches underneath a layer of snow can risk staining any deck surface, even normally stain-proof aluminum.
Spray off your deck, getting the remaining grime off of the surface. This is a good reason to winterize in fall before cold weather sets in, and you risk creating ice.
Wash the deck with a light bleach-free cleaner, then rinse.
Wait for the deck to dry completely before taking any further steps.
These are good steps to take the rest of the year as well. Any time you see debris building up, take an hour to get everything you can off the surface.
The next steps depend on the surface of the deck. Unlike wood, aluminum does not need to be sealed to protect it from the elements, nor do other types of decking.
Which Decks Need Sealing and Which Do Not
For years, wood was the gold-standard of decking material, so many popular conceptions about winterization stem from it. Wood does indeed need sealing over the winter, so you should use a stain or waterproofing substance.
However, many decking material types don’t need sealing, which makes them much more accessible to homeowners who don’t have time or interest in upkeep. Aluminum is one of the best options, for instance. After you complete the above cleaning steps, you’re done.
No-Nos for Winterizing Your Deck
We do not recommend using salt or any ice melting chemicals to clear ice and snow off aluminum decking. They can corrode the aluminum and damage the decking surface. Letting a lot of debris build-up can also cause trouble in the form of oxidation, a while film over the top. Luckily, you can take care of that with a simple vinegar wash most of the time. If not, call a decking expert.
Also, we recommend using a plastic snow shovel. A metal shovel could more easily damage the painted surface.
Need Expert Help with Your Deck?
Now that you have a basic to-do list for how to winterize your deck, it’s time to get going. Or, if you’ve simply read this to educate yourself on the best types of decking material, it’s time to pick up the phone and call the decking experts at Wahoo Decks to get that new outdoor living space installed. Call 678.343.2317 or connect with us online now.
One question that may pop into your mind about safety as winter rolls in is how snow affects your aluminum deck safety.
If you live in colder areas where snow can build up, the safety of your aluminum deck can be something of a concern. Even areas that don’t typically see a lot of snowfall are being pummeled lately, so folks who haven’t had to worry about ice and snow in the past are now concerned with building decking surfaces that will be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Wahoo aluminum decks and decking surfaces are not only durable and water resistant; they are also extremely versatile and engineered to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. This gives you peace of mind regarding aluminum deck safety and enjoying the winter weather while you anticipate Spring time.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure the safety of your aluminum deck under snow loads.
1. Build a structurally sound deck to begin with!
If you are building a deck it is crucial that you follow all building codes. Products by Wahoo Decks, such as DryJoistEZ structural deck drainage system, comply with all current International Building Codes. Wahoo Decks also offers assistance with the engineering of building decks by providing 3rd party engineering reports for load span capabilities. Just by knowing the limitations of the decking material you are using can make the difference between having a structurally sound deck or an unstable one. Learn more about the load span of Wahoo Decks’ aluminum deck materials.
2. Seasonal Inspections
Inspecting your deck will help you catch any red flags before they turn into a problem. It is important to inspect before winter so that you can help to prevent accidents or even a collapse. Also, check your deck before beginning to use it in the spring and summer, especially if you had a heavy snowfall during your winter months. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry!”
Click here for great tips to go by when inspecting the safety of your deck.
3. Clear excessive snow routinely
Use materials that will not scratch or otherwise harm your decking surface (especially AridDek or other Wahoo Decks aluminum deck boards), such as, plastic shovels, push brooms, and warm water. Clearing your deck in the winter months will help prevent harm from snow and ice; it will also keep your deck looking great for spring.
Aluminum deck safety is a top priority when it comes to manufacturing Wahoo Decks aluminum decking products such as AridDek, DryJoist, DryJoistEZ, and Wahoo Rail. If you are building a deck and anticipate snow loads, visit Wahoo Decks. You can also contact us to learn more about all of Wahoo Decks’ aluminum decking products or call (877) 270-9387 if you have any questions.
Maintaining and/or preparing to clean an aluminum deck is easier than you think. Think of it this way, prolonging the good looks of your powder -coated AridDek aluminum decking is just like caring for your car. Every now and then your car will need a wash. You know that cleaning it is a smart way to protect your investment. The same goes for your aluminum deck.
Over time with exposure to the elements, the powder-coating on aluminum decking may show signs of weathering. Symptoms include as loss of gloss, chalking , and slight color change. However, a simple, regular clean will minimize the effects of weathering. Also, it will remove dirt, grime, and other build‐up that is detrimental to all powder coatings.
6 Factors That Help Determine How Often to Clean An Aluminum Deck:
Geographical location of the deck.
Environment surrounding wherever your Aluminum decking lives (marine, industrial, alkaline or acidic, etc.)
Levels of atmospheric pollution including salts.
Prevailing winds and the possibility of air born debris causing erosive wear of the coating (and causing abrasion).
Change in environmental circumstances during the lifetime of the deck (if residential became commercial).
Usage of the deck (including furniture, etc.)
Cleaning your AridDek aluminum decking should start at the time you install your AridDek.
This ensures the removal of construction materials such as concrete, plaster and paint splashes before they have a chance to dry. Failure to remove these materials at this early stage will require the use of aggressive cleaning materials and techniques with potential damage to the powder-coated surface of your AridDek aluminum decking later.
The best method to clean an aluminum deck is by regular washing using a solution of warm water and non‐abrasive, pH neutral detergent. Rinse your AridDek aluminum deck surface thoroughly rinsed after cleaning to remove all residues. Clean your AridDek using a soft cloth or sponge or a natural bristle brush.
By cleaning your AridDek aluminum deck regularly or as needed, you are protecting an investment and keeping your deck in excellent condition. Likewise, cleaning your AridDek watertight aluminum deck will only prolong the longevity of an already long-lasting deck!
About Wahoo Decks
Headquartered in Dahlonega, Georgia, Wahoo Decks is a leading manufacturer of award-winning outdoor decking products. Wahoo products enjoy uniquely low maintenance and greater resistance to natural elements than traditional decking products. Wahoo Decks also offers Wahoo Rail, a complete line of commercial-grade aluminum railing and AridDek, a waterproof aluminum decking product. Additional information about Wahoo Decks can be found on www.WahooDecks.com or by calling 1-877-270-9387.
ATLANTA HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION TO OFFER SEMINAR DETAILING NEW CODE REQUIREMENTS OF WOOD DECKS ON DECEMBER 17, 2013 FROM 8:00 AM TO 11:30 AM.
Wahoo Decks is proud to be sponsoring a seminar taking place on December 17, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM at The Housing Center in Tucker, GA, which will discuss the new code requirements of wood decks for 2014.
Topics include: The International Residential Code – 2006 edition, The Georgia Amendments to the 2006 IRC, Wood Decks – Chapter 3 by the Forest Products Society (A Georgia Amendment), and Prescriptive Deck Details – 2012 IRC Georgia Amendment (January 2014).
Instructor Daniel Jewitt will overview prescriptive designs for wood decks that will help avoid the pitfalls of structural inadequacy, premature failures, costly repairs, and frustrated home owners. This session will include the comprehensive 22-page Georgia amendment for 2014.
The Housing Institute has approved this seminar for three continuing education credits. This session is approved under the Rules of the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors for three continuing education hours.
Class is open to anyone involved in the design, planning, construction, or inspection of residential deck construction.
About Wahoo Decks
Headquartered in Gainesville, Georgia, Wahoo Decks is a leading manufacturer of award winning outdoor decking products. Wahoo products have been engineered to be uniquely low maintenance and more resistant to natural elements than traditional decking products. Wahoo Decks offers AridDek, a waterproof aluminum decking product, DryJoist and DryJoistEZ (U.S. Pat. No. 8,276,344), a revolutionary waterproof and structural exterior aluminum joist, and Wahoo Rail, a complete line of aluminum railing kits. For more information about Wahoo Decks, visit www.WahooDecks.com.