Summer has quickly turned into fall, which means it is time to winterize your outdoor deck. A well-built deck can serve as a great outdoor living space for your family for years and years, but it does take a beating from weather and extended use. Sealing and staining your deck will maintain the integrity of the wood and keep your deck beautiful and ready to stand against harsh weather.

Before you head to Lowe’s for sealant, test your deck with a cup of water. Splatter water on several areas of the deck. If the water beads up then you are safe for the winter, if the water soaks into the board, then it is time to reseal your deck.

Food stains and ground-in dirt can ruin your decks veneer, so you will need to clean your deck before you reseal. A power-washer, or scrub brush and soap will do the trick. Allow it to dry thoroughly before you seal or stain.

If there are damaged boards, sand them down after the deck is dry. If you have peeling or missing stain in large areas, you may want to strip off the current stain and start fresh. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for staining your deck, but keep in mind, it sometimes takes 2 to 3 coats for it to achieve the look you desire. Once the stain has cured properly, then it is time to seal your deck with a water repellent sealer.

A well planned maintenance routine doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it will keep your deck looking almost brand new season after season.

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