(This article was published in the Park Record Spring Home and Garden
Protecting your deck in Park
Park City is an ideal place to have a deck. Walking onto many Park City
decks is like being suspensed over the valley in an intimate and simultaneously
overwhelming full sensory experience. Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter
all have their own breathtaking beauty. Being in the deck business I have
had the opportunity to enjoy different views all over the basin and that's
why I love my job.
Park City can also be a challenging environment for the health of decks.
There is intense, direct sunlight in the summer and piles of freezing
and thawing snow in the winter. There are, however, many things Parkites
can do to keep their deck nice for the life of their home. It's all a
matter or perspective.
Shore up loose railings, snow loads in stairways can cause rails to become
loose and wobbly over the winter. Fix gutters and sprinklers that drip
and spray on the deck. Prevent sap from nearby trees from collecting.
Give your deck a good spray or hire a company to power wash leaves, debris,
mold, algae and dirt from winter moisture. Remove screws that look like
they are “bleeding” and replace them with galvanized screws.
In the summer, use drip trays for all potted plants. Choose furniture
that is easy to move and has protective coverings that will not scratch
the deck. Place a protective barrier under your grill and/or deck fireplace.
Remember, a grease soaked rug or piece of cardboard is actually more of
a fire hazard than using nothing at all. Park City Deck Stylists has developed
a line of protective products called Pedazos, online at www.pcdeckstylists.com/pedazos.
Consider “winterizing” your deck décor. I recommend adding a deck
fireplace or chimenea (they really do work well), and furniture that is
usable in winter. We’re actually working on a bench with a heated tile
inlay for fall. Also, move your grill closer to the door, make sure it's
ready for lots of winter use. Remove furniture that will be unusable into
storage. Don’t cover your wood with a tarp or anything that won’t breathe,
since the trapped moisture will freeze and thaw, as well as allowing for
potential rot. Clear off all dead leaves.
Keep your deck "alive" in the winter. Take time to shovel your
deck each time it snows, (with a plastic not metal shovel). Use sodium
chloride salts instead of calcium chloride salts. Have a professional
remove large, icy buildups on your roof that could fall and damage your
Winter Feng shui:
A clear deck is a pleasant deck. Minimize. This will lighten your deck’s
load and make it easier to shovel and keep clear. Add full, fun, lighting.
Consider a potted evergreen that can double as a christmas tree (my plug
for the trees). Light your fire within.
Professional treatment can be affordable and highly beneficial
to your deck. Test your deck when it’s dry to see if water soaks in or
beads on the surface. If water soaks in, it’s time to treat. By this time
wear in the stain should be apparent as well. Power washing before staining
ensures even penetration of new stain, as well as removing water stains,
grease, mold, algae, dirt, tannins and other foreign material that will
cause the new sealer to fail. I recommend a sealer that will seal out
moisture, block UV rays, and have a mold killing agent. There are many
on the market but using the right stains is important. The higher end
formulas of most companies will cost about $10 more per gallon but are
worth it for Park City weather. Companies like ours (Park City Deck Stylists)
specialize in this type of full treatment.
Thanks for reading, relax,
and enjoy a barbecue.