Your deck can give your family years of enjoyment. The key to keeping it looking great for years is to protect it from winter s rain, sleet, snow and ice. And it s easy to do if you follow this advice from deck-care experts:
Prepare and Restore
Clean your uncoated, weathered deck thoroughly to remove ground-in dirt, grayed surface fibers, and stains from mold, mildew and algae. New decking should be prepped before coating to open the wood pores and remove barriers to penetration, such as mill glaze on new cedar.
For pressure-treated wood, use a wood cleaner and coating prep, an acid and chlorine-free, oxygen-powered powder concentrate that is tough on stains yet safe to use near plant life and shrubs. For previously coated decks, strip any faded or deteriorating finish.
Protect Your Deck
After cleaning, it s important to apply a water-repellent finish to your deck. Formulated to stop rain, sleet, snow and ice from penetrating wood surfaces, water repellent coatings minimize water damage such as splitting or warping. The products offer a guarantee against water damage and provide long-lasting protection, so you won t have to reapply a new coat year after year. Plus, they are available in a variety of colors and opacity levels -- from totally clear to sheer, transparent natural wood tones to semi-transparent shades -- so they can protect your deck while achieving virtually any look you desire.