Decks Under Cover: Surprising Winter Tips


Before you head indoors for winter, learning ways to keep your decks under cover will help preserve your deck in its best condition.


Staining Your Deck

Fall is actually the best time to prepare your deck for the winter weather by applying a deck stain. If your deck is unfinished, use a wood cleaner designed to remove dirt and natural contaminants. This will brighten your deck and prepare it for staining. If your deck is already stained, remove the old finish so that the new one adheres properly. Apply a premium, water repellent wood finish to rejuvenate your deck and protect it from the winter ice and snow.


Fighting Mildew, Mold & Stains

Sweep leaves, dirt and pine needles from your deck as soon as fall hits. By removing this debris, you will increase airflow between the boards and reduce the chance of mold and mildew growing. Remove any mildew from the deck as soon as you notice it with a commercial mildew remover. Allowing it to grow can cause additional damage throughout the winter.

Remove all planters and pots even if they are just decorative. The moisture collected under them can leave stains on your deck. If you cannot remove them from the deck, or have nowhere indoors to store them, raise them off the wood to help prevent staining.


Protecting Your Furniture

Wash and store vinyl furniture indoors and inspect any wood furniture for damage and make the necessary repairs before covering or storing it for winter.


Tips for Snow Removal

If you are shoveling snow from your deck, be sure to run the shovel lengthwise across the boards to minimize scratching or cutting into the wood. Another option is to use a plastic shovel. Avoid salt and other ice melting substances as they may damage or discolor your deck finish.


Covering Up

If you are not interested in shoveling your deck, consider putting a cover on it to protect it from rain and other debris.

By taking care of these maintenance items before the winter comes, you will greatly minimize your cleanup come Spring, giving you the chance to enjoy the budding great weather.

Creative individuals can add easy-to-build wooden bench deck seating to any yard deck project. The installation of a wooden deck along the entire perimeter of the structure will enhance its beauty and practicality. Bench deck seating is an excellent solution for accommodating larger numbers of people when having that backyard barbecue or other entertainment event. Follow these construction guidelines to create a great deck accessory.


Step 1: Bench Anchors

Holes need to be cut next to the deck joists to accommodate anchors for your deck benches. Cut these as squares placing them at least five feet apart along the entire perimeter.

Step 2: Post Placement

Using square posts, place one in each hole cut so they extend about 18 to 20 inches above the deck surface. Use braces to attach each post in place to the deck joisting. Create pre-drilled holes for easier and stronger bracing when using deck screws or bolts.



Step 3: Bench Frame

Install the deck seating frame by cutting wood to fit whatever shape you choose. Popular choice is an “L” shape. Cut the wood boards to follow the perimeter of the decking, attaching a top railing or “rung,” then a bottom rail. At 16-inch intervals, place studs on both the back and front rails connecting top and bottoms. Install diagonal rails where corners touch.

When designing your deck seating, pay attention to the seat depth in comparison to the usable deck surface space. However, always create a seat top just a bit wider than the frame. Doing this will allow for stapling fabric to the surface top by wrapping it under the seating lip to attach it. Also, you might want to cut out areas for table-like sections to place drinks or other items.

Step 4: Seating

Install the surface seat decking on top of the frame making sure the surface area remains flat. Secure seat decking with nails and then sand the entire surface area so it is smooth.

Before painting or staining, make sure to sand the entire deck seating surface area. Since this is a huge task, consider renting professional sanding equipment to make sure he job is doe efficiently and correctly. If you intend to leave the seating bare, make sure to apply a protective coating and or sealant after sanding the wood.

Step 5: Cushion Comfort or Not

Make sure to apply matching paint or stain before using a sealant or other protective coating to gain the desired look. An nice finishing touch that will provide guests and family with a greater level of comfort is decorative cushions placed on top of the deck seating. Choose cushions with tie-down attachments to secure the cushions to your desk seating. Make sure you purchase  cushions that are designed and treated for outdoor deck and patio use and can be easily cleaned.