(This article was published in the Park Record Spring Home and Garden Edition 2004)

Protecting your deck in Park City

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 deck.

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.

Full treatment:
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.

Contact us for a free consultation and estimate!

Park City Deck Stylists
PO box 2536
Park City Utah 84060
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