How to Winterize Your Deck

Get your deck ready for harsh winter weather.
Redwood deck for outdoor lounging

Redwood deck for outdoor lounging

Protect your deck from winter weather with a fall maintenance routine.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of The California Redwood Association

Photo courtesy of The California Redwood Association

Protect your deck from winter weather with a fall maintenance routine.

Your deck has treated you well all summer long. It’s time to return the favor.  Heavy use, sun and incidental damage can take a toll on a residential deck during the summer months, but as summer turns to fall and fall to winter, a new set of problems arise.  Before winter weather sets in, fall is a great time to give your deck some preventative TLC. Protecting your deck from the elements can prevent costly repairs, keeps it looking good and ensures it will be ready for action when warm weather finally returns.

Is your deck ready for winter? Consider these tips for helping your deck weather the harsh season ahead.

Store Furniture

Wash outdoor tables and chairs and store indoors, if possible, to avoid leaving marks on the decking from inconsistent weathering.

Remove Planters

Any planters, pots or storage containers should be removed from the deck for winter storage. Moisture trapped between the deck and plastic, wood or ceramic containers can encourage mildew, discoloration or decay.

Inspect for Damage

Now that everything is off the deck, take a look at decking, railings and supports. Make any necessary repairs before cold and wet conditions exacerbate problems.

Clean All Surfaces

Thoroughly clean the deck using products recommended for the job. Power washing can restore the beauty of a well-used deck, but should be done with care. Pressure set too high can remove finishes or even scar wood.

Water Repellents

If the deck has lost its finish from years of good use, it may be time to refinish. If the luster is beyond rescue, paints designed for deck use have improved a great deal in recent years and may be the best solution to extend the life of older decks. In many cases, re-staining and the application of a water repellent will bring back your deck's beauty and keep it protected from the elements for a few more years. 

Snow Removal

Sweep leaves from your deck regularly in the fall and routinely clear snow to minimize damage and fading from prolonged contact with snow and ice. A blower is preferred, but when shoveling, push snow with the planks instead of against to avoid scarring wood with an aggressive shoveling technique. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Winterize Your Lawn

Learn what to do to prepare your lawn for winter. Taking the right steps in fall prepares your grass for quick spring greening.

Winterizing Plants

Discover easy techniques for getting plants ready for winter’s chill.

Are You Prepared for Winter Weather?

Try these tips for protecting decks, sheds and other exterior structures from exposure.

How to Prevent Cracks in Terra Cotta Pots

A crackpot in the garden is one thing, but nobody wants cracked pots. Don't let the weather damage or ruin your terra cotta containers.

How to Replace Composite Playhouse Decking

Eliminate the safety hazard presented by rotting wood with this repair project.

How to Replace Wood On a Deck

Repair a damaged section of your deck with these step-by-step instructions.

November Gardening Tasks

Prepare your garden now for early spring planting.

Winterizing Your Garden

Button up the garden before the deep freeze of winter arrives, and you’ll be on your way to a gorgeous season next year.

Saving Citrus From Frost

Discover ways to protect your outdoor citrus from the elements.

Deck Maintenance Tips

Follow these tips for getting the most mileage out of your outdoor living space.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Log Cabin Living

6:30am | 5:30c

Log Cabin Living

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Hidden Potential

1:30pm | 12:30c

Hidden Potential

2:30pm | 1:30c

Hidden Potential

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.