With winter rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to start preparing your garden and making sure it’s ready for the heavy weather conditions ahead. There are lots of perpetrations that can be made throughout early autumn, but by this point you should be focusing on making sure every area of your garden is ready for the cold months that are to follow. By protecting your decking for winter and properly preparing it, you’ll find you save yourself time and money when the springtime comes around and you look to start using your decking again.
The Right Time
Choosing the right time to finish your garden maintenance for the winter is very important, as there’s so many different things to consider. Firstly, you want the weather and surfaces to be dry and safe before you begin any maintenance work on them, as you don’t want to slip or cause any additional damage to the material when it’s wet. You also need to ensure that the weather isn’t too cold, as this can have a negative effect on the way that your sealant and varnish dries, so take a look at the weather forecast and try to find yourself a couple of dry, warm (ish) days to tackle your decking on.
A Clean Start
The main error many homeowners make when they begin to prepare their decking for winter is to not start with a clean surface. During the autumnal months, you’ll find that lots of leaves, moss and general debris will sit and gather on your decking, with the wet weather conditions forcing them to set onto the decking and create a slippery, mushy surface that isn’t safe for walking on. If you begin your maintenance with a decking that’s covered in wet leaves and moss, you’re going to find your hard work will not pay off, and you’ll have much more maintenance work to do further down the line. Spend a good hour or two washing down your decking, making sure you remove any dirt and moss that has grown on the wooden surface, and then you can start to clean the area. Using a pressure washer, you can eliminate all of the dirt from the surface, giving your decking it’s colour back and also making the space much easier to work with.
For garden decking, the most important maintenance tip, which applies all year around, is to seal and protect. The wood used for your decking will be a strong, durable material which has been designed to stand the test of time, however, strong weather conditions and constant use can wear the wood down and cause it to look dull and discoloured. This doesn’t mean that your decking is broken or no longer the beautiful focal point it used to be, it simply means it requires some tlc to bring it back to its original state. By applying a decking oil or stain, which can be purchased from all local timber merchants, you are able to protect your decking from the heavy winter conditions ahead. The stain will bring back the colour, whilst also adding a protective layer to the material that will help keep it looking it’s best throughout the year. The great thing about this kind of maintenance, is that when the warmer weather finally arrives, and you want to plan your BBQ’s and garden parties, you’ll find you have much less work to do regarding your decking, as it will have been protected and maintained throughout the winter.
A Beautiful Finish
In many homes, the decking is a large feature within the garden that often takes up essential space in the patio area. To make sure your decking is still receiving the attention it deserves, without necessarily using it, you can add to the aesthetics and create a beautiful statement piece within your garden. Whilst you may not be able to use your decking through the winter, that doesn’t stop you from draping some gorgeous garden lights around the poles or along the railings to add a magical touch to your garden. Similarly, you may want to introduce some festive decorations to your decking to create a bold aesthetic in your garden and still utilise the space you have. This is a really good way of using your decking through the winter, even if it’s not quite the same usage as it receives through the summer!