As winter officially settles in and blankets much of the country in cold or harsh weather, the added moisture and freeze-thaw cycles can wreak havoc on outdoor structures. For high moisture climates, composites are the surefire way to eliminate rotting and deterioration. Many now offer easy upkeep, splinter-free comfort and affordable options. One example is MoistureShield composite decking, which provides superior protection against the elements with its proprietary Solid Core manufacturing process. It blends and encapsulates wood fibers with an impermeable plastic barrier, fighting damage from direct contact with snow, ice or heavy rain. MoistureShield offers these tips for winter climates:
- STORE your non-essential furniture and planter pots to help reduce trip hazards that might become obscured in heavy snow
- REMOVE built up organic debris, such as leaves, that can cause tannin spots if left over time. Tannin spots naturally fade or can be removed with a deck cleaner containing oxalic acid (commonly known as wood brightener), but clearing away organic material will save you additional cleaning steps once spring arrives.
- CLEAR away snow before it starts piling up. Light snowfall should be removed with a stiff plastic or nylon bristled push broom. For heavier snowfall, use a plastic shovel and work parallel with the boards to avoid catching the edge of the deck board. Both options help prevent accidental scratches or gouges commonly caused by metal shovels or other sharp tools.
- APPLY clear ice melt formulas or rock salt to help address slip hazards and prevent accidental stains on your deck. Remove excess with a push broom as needed. Select ice melt that’s safe for use on concrete and flagstone, as well as safe for children and pets. Sand is not recommended for traction since it’s highly abrasive and can damage the deck surface.
- CLEAN your deck as soon as outdoor temperatures permit with warm soapy water and a thorough rinse to ensure the surface is clear of any remaining ice melt or rock salt.
Following these simple steps can help preserve the longevity and beauty of any deck so it’s ready to go for the spring and summer seasons. Learn more at www.MoistureShield.com.