There’s no more denying it. The days are shorter. The temperature is colder. Winter is on its way – and you need to winterize your vinyl deck.
If you’ve got a covered deck, you might use it all year round, but decks exposed to the rain and snow tend to get neglected through the winter months.
There are a few things you can do to keep your vinyl sundeck in top shape to survive the harsher winter weather and be ready for a simple cleaning come spring.
3 Simple Steps to Winterize Your Vinyl Deck
#1 – First, if you have not already done so, pack away any seasonal furniture or planters stored on your deck. When you are not using your deck frequently, you may not notice the debris or dirt that can accumulate around the edges of temporary furniture or fixtures of your deck. Particularly with metal accessories on your deck that can invite rust, these items can make for tougher scrubbing in the spring.
#2 – Clear any organic debris that has accumulated. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a lot of trees around your deck. That good fortune is often is accompanied by leaves and twigs that autumn weather can send to your deck in wet, mucky piles. Be sure to remove organic matter before it starts to decompose. Decomposing leaves can lead to stains on your vinyl deck that can be difficult to remove.
#3 – Wash your deck with a mild cleaner and rinse thoroughly. While it is easy to brush this one off the list until spring, you can make your spring clean a lot easier if you perform once before winter. You can use a vinyl deck cleaner for gentle cleaning.
If you would like to substitute that for a more common household cleaner, we have found that diluted Cascade powdered dish detergent works well also. Simply sprinkle on your deck, add a little water, and scrub with a soft-bristled brush or broom.
No matter what product you use to clean your deck, make sure it is safe for use on vinyl and be sure to rinse well so there is no chemical residue remaining. Check out our Care & Cleaning page for more details on cleaning agents and dealing with difficult stains.
Using Your Deck in the Winter
Now your deck is ready for winter and probably looks so great that you will still want to use it every chance you get.
If you do access your vinyl deck through the winter months, have some rock salt or other snow-melting chemicals on hand to deal with slippery ice and snow. Just remember that as soon as the spring weather arrives, you must rinse those chemicals off your deck to get keep your vinyl from premature aging.
Depending on the amount of snow accumulation you get, you may also want to be sure to have a plastic-edged snow shovel on hand. Avoid the use of metal-edged shovels on your vinyl deck so there is no chance of puncturing the membrane.
If you have an expansive deck, you may be tempted to make use of a snowblower to remove an accumulation of snow, but that is not recommended. Snowblowers are typically power-driven on tires or have a skid plate that may scratch the top of the vinyl, so the use of a snowblower is best avoided.
Should I Wait Until Spring to Plan a Deck Renovation?
In some areas that aren’t subject to temperatures below freezing, decking projects can be completed in the winter months. However, in many areas, the extreme cold temperatures make it very difficult for a deck vinyl installation.
That being said, if you have been considering a deck renovation, don’t wait until spring to contact your Duradek applicator. Spring and summer months are when deck builders are at their busiest. You can start the conversation during the winter to get an estimate on your decking project and schedule a site visit for early spring to ensure you are not left waiting for available contractors.
In many areas, Duradek installers can take care of re-surfacing your deck with Duradek vinyl all year round.
Duradek Applicators are the Best in the Industry
In addition to receiving training and technical support for Duradek vinyl, many Duradek-authorized installers are talented and creative contractors that go that extra step to ensure their customers are happy with their decks.
Communicate with your Duradek contractor and don’t be afraid to ask him to make use of any scrap bits of leftover vinyl (if there are any). Little, left-over vinyl remnants work well to place under metal planters to stop rust from developing on your permanent deck. Some more creative uses include this mini snow slide that protects the landing of a patio stairway from snow accumulation.
A problem-solving Duradek installer created this handy snow slide to protect an exterior stairway from snowfall.
In the fall and winter months, deck contractors have a little more time than they do in the summer to accommodate extra requests. Don’t wait until spring to contact a Duradek applicator near you. Visit our Dealer Locator Map to find authorized Duradek contractors.