If you're hiring someone to install vinyl decking on your home, you'll want to get ready for winter. Vinyl decks are an excellent investment for any home. But, they do need winter care and protection. Harsh, winter weather can wreak havoc on your new vinyl deck, especially if you don't follow the right procedures. Here are four steps you can take to protect your new vinyl decking this winter.
Clear the Area
If you're like most people, you're going to fill your new deck with plenty of patio furniture and accessories. Those items get lots of use during the warmer months. But, they'll need to be put away once the colder temperatures arrive. Dirt and debris can build up around the base of your patio furniture and accessories.
If you can't get outside to clear away the debris on a regular basis during the winter, your deck may suffer the consequences. As the debris gets wet, it will adhere to the surface of your deck. Once that happens, it will cause significant staining to the surface of your vinyl decking. The best way to avoid the stains is to store your patio furniture during the fall and winter.
Wash the Surface
Once you've removed all the furniture and accessories, you'll need to give your vinyl deck a deep cleaning. Start by sweeping away all the loose dirt and debris. After you've done that, you'll need to clean the surface with a mild detergent, such as a liquid dishwasher detergent. Fill a bucket with warm water and add about a half cup of detergent. Use a soft-bristled broom to scrub your deck. Once you've scrubbed the deck, use your garden hose to rinse away the detergent.
Remove Ice and Snow
If you live in an area that experiences ice and snow during the winter, you'll need to take extra precautions with your new vinyl deck. Ice and snow can damage your deck, especially if the pack gets too deep. The best way to protect your new deck is to remove ice and snow as often as possible. Be sure to use a plastic snow shovel. Metal snow shovels can do serious damage to your vinyl deck. For easier cleanup, apply a light sprinkling of rock salt or kitty litter across the surface of your deck. Once spring arrives, you can remove the deicing agents with a garden hose.
Ensure Monthly Inspections
Finally, to protect your vinyl deck this winter, you'll want to inspect it monthly. Check for signs of damage, such as cracking, peeling, or staining. If you see signs of damage, contact your deck contractor right away.