The best time to purchase a deck is in the early spring when everybody is preparing for long summer nights spent outside. When winter comes, numerous decks are left in reckless abandon, but this doesn’t need to be the case.
Your deck can be just as valuable and charming in the colder months and during the more temperate time of the year. You should invest in keeping your deck in top shape by making preparations before the weather changes.
Letting your deck remain unused and unkempt from autumn through spring doesn’t benefit you or the deck in any way. Our decking experts, Superior Deck and Fence, deck builders in Cherry Hill, NJ, have put together some tips to help you use your deck this winter.
5 Tips to Prepare Your Deck for Winter
1. Warm it up
Adding a fire pit, chiminea, or patio warmers to your deck can transform it into an endearing place to sit, even when the temperature outside takes a nosedive.
Patio warmers come in different variants, including gas-powered and electric-powered models. Electric patio warmers are less expensive to run and can be mounted on the wall, while gas warmers are portable and simpler to set up.
Chimineas and fire pits are popular among people who look for an increasingly provincial appeal. However, it is imperative to raise any fire source up over your deck to keep wood or composite decking from overheating or catching fire. Fiber-concrete mats are also valuable for shielding your deck from the heat of a fire.
2. Get some shelter
Just as they give shade from the sun when it’s warm, covering canopies can keep you dry when you’re out on your deck in the rainy and snowy months. If you have a heat source on your deck, your canopy will trap the heat and keep you even toastier when you’re outside on chilly nights.
To add a canopy to your deck, all you need to do is bolt an inflexible frame to the deck and add your canopy. Most canopies will withstand wind, rain, snow, and hail. However, you need to make sure you can take down your canopy quickly in case of very strong winds.
If you have a large budget, retractable canopies are available. These canopies are attached to the side of your home and generally require expert installation.
3. Buy a hot tub
If you’re bathing in hot water, then it truly doesn’t make much of a difference what the temperature is outside. A hot tub can be an extraordinary method to transform your deck into a spot you appreciate throughout the year.
Regardless of whether you are incorporating your tub into the deck or standing it on top, you will require a flat, strong, level surface. It is simpler to add a hot tub into the structure of a new deck than it is to add one to an existing deck.
However, an expert can adjust practically any deck to suit a tub as long as you have room. You’ll need to consider the area’s exposure to wind, sun, and shade, the privacy required from neighbors, and how your tub will source its power.
4. Have a Cookout
During the winter, you might not think to cook outside. As long as you’ve added heat sources and shelter, you can be certain that your loved ones will overcome the climate and adventure onto the deck if there’s hot food to be had!
Grills and portable gas barbecues make for extremely simple additions to any deck. If you prefer something that can cook food and heat your deck at the same time, you can add a clay oven and outdoor kitchen.
As with fire pits, you’ll have to protect your deck from the heat source. However, a clay oven for making pizzas and other food can transform your deck into a party venue from January to December.
5. Make sure there’s enough light
When it’s cold and dark outside, you will need extra lighting to make your deck more welcoming. Even dim lighting is a good choice, and you can put lights on the underside of seating or railings to shield them from the weather. And if your deck is covered, lights can be effectively connected. A string of fairy lights protected by a canopy can improve visibility significantly.
Lightbulbs that are connected to smart fixtures and capable of switching between colors at the touch of a button work well on a deck, enabling you to set the mood and create an experience that will keep individuals joyfully using your deck, regardless of the climate.
What steps are you taking to make your deck usable during the winter? Let us know in the comments below!
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey