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How to Prepare Your Decking for Winter

Posted on 23/10/2023

image of decking with title and logo overlaid on the image

The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Winter is only around the corner, so now’s the perfect time to prepare your decking for the harsher weather. Some of the simple actions you can take to protect your decking are listed below.

Clean and declutter

Your decking’s durability is heavily reliant on how you maintain and attend to it. A simple sweep can make sure the wood is protected and looked after, extending your decking’s life for you to enjoy the many summers ahead. Clearing away leaves and debris will be beneficial as they hold moisture which can penetrate the wood causing it to rot.

To prepare for the winter and before it gets too cold to do so, you may want to deep clean your decking, which can be done by scrubbing the wood with a brush. There are plenty of specialist cleaners for timber decking which you could use, but the far more affordable option of washing up liquid and warm water usually does the trick!

Damage Repairs

Over the summer in the hot weather is when everyone usually makes the most out of their decking with family bbqs and enjoying the sun. However, when you're having this much fun it can sometimes lead to some damage or breakages in the wood. Ideally, you should tend to these before the winter, as the wet weather can worsen the damage to the timber by the rain getting inside the cracks causing the decking to weaken.

However not all damages are visible, before going forward with repairs it is best to complete a full inspection of your decking. We suggest identifying any ‘soft spots’, using a thin flathead screwdriver to gently apply pressure on the wet spot of the wood. If the end of the screwdriver sinks in, the wood is more than likely to be rotten. The best thing we suggest to do before winter is to replace any vulnerable deck boards as the longer they are left unattended to, the worse the damage will be.

Protect your Decking

Once you have cleaned and repaired your decking, it is ready to receive a protective and restoring sealant. This is fundamental for wooden decking as it is more susceptible to rotting and damage from cold weather. By applying this sealant you are stopping water from penetrating the wood and preventing mould and fungus from growing. This can be applied with a brush and should be used prior to any stains or varnishes.

Notes for Safety

During wet weather, especially in the winter, decking can become very slippery, and many people instantly think to throw salt on for grip. While this may be helpful on composite deckings, we absolutely do not recommend this for your timber deckings. Visually, salt damages the timber by staining it with splotches, yet also internally the wood itself is getting damaged and it can corrode the metal supports. Instead, we advise a worthwhile investment of grip strips which can be applied to your decking or some specialist products such as deck grip sealant.

If your decking has seen better days and you want a new and guaranteed system, contact us. We build decking bespoke for each project and use anti-slip treatments to keep you safe on your feet. Get in touch for a free quote, call 07914 840995 or email

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