Preparing Your Deck for Fall

As Fall finally overtakes Summer, there comes a change in tone for life in general. Fall can be very enjoyable time of year. It brings mild weather and beautiful color to the plant life. But it also means putting Summer activities away for the next two seasons. If you have a wooden deck on your home, you probably got as much as you could out of it during the warm months. Barbecues and relaxing evenings were probably on your agenda at when Spring sprung. You likely thoroughly enjoy your deck. That’s why it’s important to take steps during Fall to protect it from the incoming cold and wetness, thereby prolonging the life of your investment.

The first thing you should take care of is the patio furniture. While many good brands of patio furniture are designed to be durable against cold and snow, storing them away safely anyway will lessen the impact on them and prolong their usefulness. Before putting them away for the season, cleaning and maintenance is recommended.

The cushions, if present, can be washed according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Metal pieces should be checked for scratches and rust. A bit of automotive paint can be used to touch up small nicks on aluminum. Plastics are more vulnerable to stains, so they should be washed thoroughly. Wood pieces should be check for damage and repainted if needed. Different types of wood will require different things. For example, teak needs a regular coating of linseed oil to maintain its color.

As for the deck itself, it should be able to withstand the harsher weather it was properly sealed and refinished. Some people like to do this at the end of the season. Too begin with, make sure the deck is completely clean by using a good deck cleaner. Once clean, you can remove excess finish with a specialized finish remover. Finally, seal it with a water-repellent material that will keep it protected during the wet months.

If it’s already been sealed , you can still give it a good cleaning by using a power washer to remove the dirt and other contaminants, so long as the water pressure isn’t so powerful as to damage the wood. During Fall, try not to let leaves or other organic material linger too long on the deck surface. They can leave stains and residue, creating more work for you next Summer.

The grill should also be prepared for winter. To make sure all of the food residue is removed, you can leave it lit long enough to burn away whatever is sticking to the grill. Scrape away whatever is left and then wipe it down with a wet cloth. Make sure the grease tray is emptied and cleaned as well. You can wipe down the outside with soap and water. If you will be storing the grill indoors, it’s best to remove the propane tank and store it separately. If there is no room in the garage or shed for the grill, you can at least cover it in a tarp or plastic bag.

Cloth items, such as umbrellas and hammocks usually just need a light scrub with soap. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them.

Winter is on the way, but you might still be able to get some more use out of your deck before it gets too cold. Some blankets and a fire pit can make for some very enjoyable evenings with friends and family.