How to Prepare Your Deck for Fall

happy friends grilling on a barbecue on a wooden deck in the autumn

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, thoughts turn to the best way to prepare your deck for fall. The last days of the sun mean that many of us are preparing to pack up the garden, ready for the harsh winter weather. 

An essential element of this includes keeping our decks in tip-top condition. A little preparation now will serve you well and ensure that the space is ready to go at the first sign of spring’s warm weather.

Here at Dupont Decks, we know a thing or two about preserving your outside space! Read on for our top tips, and don’t forget to get in touch for your free estimate!

Why Do I Need To Prepare My Deck For Fall?

The fall and winter months tend to bring adverse weather, which can harm your decking space. From water damage to the risk of mold and mildew, your outdoor spaces can really take a beating. 

To help, it is a good idea to get into the habit of regular deck maintenance. Not only does this reduce the workload next spring, but it helps to keep your deck in excellent condition for years to come.

What Can I Do To Prepare?

Being prepared is crucial for deck preservation. Read on to learn a few steps you can take to keep your deck looking its best come spring.

man using a broom sweeping wooden deck to prepare deck for fall

Address the Obvious

When making plans to prepare your deck for fall, you should inspect the surface as a starting point. Any cracks or crevices will only expand if rainwater freezes in them, and so these must be addressed as a matter of priority. 

Check to see if any paint or varnish is stained or peeling. Finally, make sure everything is structurally sound, including any erosion around the foundations.

It is also a good idea to visually inspect the area around your deck, especially if there is dense foliage. Overhanging trees and bushes will drop leaves throughout the fall and winter, and these can make the deck slippery and dangerous. In addition, debris can prevent air from circulating, leading to a build-up of moisture — the perfect recipe for rot.

Consider trimming back any heavy branches, or stripping the leaves regularly to keep them from falling. You should inspect your deck regularly to help prevent the build-up of unwanted debris. Always ensure that the surface is kept free and clear of any dirt or leaves, which could cause damage.

You also need to check that all boards are secure and not loose and make any repairs or adjustments required here. Not only can loose boards be dangerous, but they can become rotten and unsafe if left untreated.

Clear Any Furniture

When you prepare your deck for fall, it is important to ensure that any garden or deck furniture is well taken care of. Remove and store anything you can, giving you a clear surface to clean and treat. 

Any outdoor rugs, grills, umbrellas, tables, planters, and lighting units should be moved aside in preparation for a complete clean. Always remember to move items carefully to avoid scratches — this is especially important on a wood deck.

You should also prep your furniture with sturdy, fitted covers to protect it from the elements. A two-layer material offers waterproofing on the surface and a soft interior to protect delicate furniture from scratches. There is no point in having your deck looking incredible if there is no way to enjoy it!

wooden deck in the fall with autumn leaves and table and chairs

Squeaky Clean!

Once you have established the visual situation, you need to physically prepare your deck for fall. The first job is to clean the deck thoroughly. 

Take the time to make sure nothing has settled in any kings or crevices, and that the surface is smooth. Remove any leaves or debris, ideally with a hose or pressure washer to get a really good clean.

Once you have washed down the surface, it is time to tackle stubborn stains. For wooden deck boards, you can sand the area, but a stiff brush and hot soapy water should do the job. Always ensure you test any cleaning supplies on a small area to ensure it is safe to use to preserve and prepare your deck for fall.

When the stains are gone, make sure you check in between the boards for any stray leaves of twigs. If these are left in place, the air circulation and drainage are compromised — the perfect way to introduce moisture and mold.

Time for Treatments

Once the surface of the deck is clean, the next step to prepare your deck for fall is to add a protective coating. Adding repellents and treatments to the deck protects it from the harsh weather and allows you to enjoy the space for longer. 

For wood or wood finished decks, a water repellent is essential in preserving the longevity of the material. These treatments help to protect the wood from rain, wind, sleet, snow, and hail and keep it healthy and secure.

Without the right protection, you will find that your deck is more susceptible to the elements. You may suffer cracks and splits, as well as the surface warping in extreme temperatures.

Composite decking is a little sturdier, but may still require regular treatments to keep it in the best possible condition.

wooden deck patio in autumn with leaves falling on it

A Fancy Facelift

The final step on your checklist to prepare your deck for fall is to spruce up the surface. You may find that your intense clean has reduced the color, or else the summer rays have caused the sparkle to fade. Adding a stain or paint not only gives the deck a new lease of life, but it can also help to lock in any treatments you have added.

In addition, applying the paint onto a freshly cleaned surface allows it to adhere more successfully. In turn, this helps to produce an even, neat, and bright finish. Your deck will look brand new in no time!

How Can We Help?

Here at Dupont Decks, we make your outdoor space our number one priority. We have helped homeowners across the region design the deck, which is the perfect fit for their lifestyle and requirements. From family-friendly areas to adults-only dining decks, we can help you to add space to your home and pick the ideal product.

Why not get in touch today for a free estimate, and let us help you choose a deck which will survive even the harshest of winter weather? Our expert team can also offer straightforward advice and assistance on the maintenance and upkeep of your deck. Let us take the task off your hands, and you simply enjoy the space!