In the heart of Manchester, amidst the urban landscape and contemporary architectural designs, the charm of a well-constructed garden space remains irreplaceable. At Garden & Rooms, we pride ourselves on crafting bespoke spaces that fuse luxury with functionality. One of our star attractions is the premium composite decking – a perfect amalgamation of aesthetics and durability. But as the crisp autumn air gives way to the unmistakable chill of winter, how do you ensure that your pristine decking remains unblemished and strong? Let’s dive into a comprehensive guide on prepping your composite decking for the UK’s harsh winter.
1. Understanding Composite Decking:
Composite decking is a blend of wood fibres and plastic. This union gifts the material the appearance and feel of natural wood, combined with the strength and longevity of plastic. The resultant decking is resistant to fading, staining, and decay. But even champions need a little tender loving care!
2. Start with a Clean Deck:
Before winter rolls in with its dampness and frost, ensure your deck is spick and span.
Sweep: Clear away leaves, twigs, and any debris. Organic matter can retain moisture leading to mould or mildew.
Wash: Use a mild detergent or a cleaner specifically designed for composite decking. Avoid using a pressure washer as it can damage the material.
3. Check for Damage:
Inspect your deck for signs of wear or damage. Even though composite is robust, sharp objects, heavy furniture, or intense traffic can leave scuffs or minor damages. Addressing them before winter ensures they don’t exacerbate due to cold or moisture.
4. Water-Repellant Sealant:
Unlike wood, composite decking doesn’t need frequent resealing. However, applying a water-repellent seal can give an additional protection layer against frost and rain.
5. Mind the Gap:
Composite decking expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations. Ensure there’s ample space between boards to allow for this. Winter might not be the time for restructuring, but being aware helps in long-term maintenance.
6. Combat Ice and Snow:
Safe De-icing: Avoid salt or calcium chloride. Instead, opt for rock salt or any pet-safe deicer to melt ice. Ensure it’s safe for use on composite decking.
Shovelling: When removing snow, always shovel in the direction of the deck boards. Use a plastic shovel as metal can scratch the surface.
7. Gutter and Downspouts:
Ensure they’re directed away from the decking. Accumulated water can lead to ice patches, which can be a slip hazard.
8. Rearrange Furniture and Planters:
Move furniture and planters occasionally to allow the deck beneath them to breathe. This prevents moisture traps. Also, use rubber-backed mats to catch snow and water, ensuring no staining or water pooling.
9. Install a Pergola or Awning:
For those looking to invest a bit more, Garden & Rooms can design custom pergolas or awnings. This not only enhances your space aesthetically but also offers an added layer of protection against snow and rain.
10. Safety Measures:
Composite decking can become slippery when icy. Consider adding anti-slip strips for high traffic areas.
11. Maintain the Area Surrounding Your Deck:
Trim bushes and trees near the decking. This prevents excess moisture from dripping onto the deck, and it ensures a clear path for snow and rain to drain.
12. Ventilation is Key:
Ensure the underside of your deck is well ventilated. This curtails moisture build-up which can lead to ice formation.
In conclusion, the marriage of careful preparation and thoughtful maintenance will ensure your composite decking remains a winter wonder, braving the UK’s harshest months. Garden & Rooms, with its ethos of quality and dedication, is always at your service, ensuring your garden spaces remain as impeccable as a winter’s first snowfall. Get in touch with us, and let’s winter-proof your luxurious deck together! If you don’t have a beautiful deck yet or perhaps need your old deck replaced or repaired, please reach out to us! We are here to bring your Garden Decking vision to life!