Moisture damage, rot, decay, warping, cracking, swelling & shrinking—snow, sleet, ice, and cold weather can do a number on our fences, decks, outbuildings, garden boxes, and other wooden projects, costing us tons of money once spring returns.
Thankfully you just clicked on the right article, so none of that is going to happen to you. With the right know-how protecting your wooden items from winter damage is easy, and below we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.
Keep it Clean
It might seem obvious but keeping your fencing, decks, outdoor furniture, and other wooden projects clean and free of clutter and organic debris is essential.
For example, leaving items like tools, planters, and patio furniture on your deck during winter can cause lasting discolorations and decay. Organic materials like pine needles, leaves, mildew, mold, and dirt are equally problematic, often resulting in costly moisture damage, rot, and structural issues in decks, fencing, furniture, and wooden outbuildings.
While sweeping and a good scrubbing often do the trick, we suggest pressure washing as the easiest and quickest way to clean your deck. If you’re doing the job yourself, just make sure to use the correct pressure rating, nozzle, and detergent for your project to avoid accidentally damaging the wood surface.
Now that your deck is clean and clear of debris, it’s time to protect it against decay, warping, cracking, moisture and pest damage.
How to Apply Cedarshield
The wood protectant Cedarshield is called “The Best Wood Treatment in the World” for a reason—it increases the life of any woodworking project, strengthens it, and protects it against rot, warping, cracking, moisture and pest damage, often for the entire lifetime of the wood. Plus, it’s easy to use and safe for all types of wood, old or new, hardwood or softwood.
Cedarshield works by removing all moisture from the wood, mimicking the early stages of petrification. The result is longer-lasting, better-looking decks, fencing, garden boxes, docks, and other outdoor wooden projects. Here’s how to apply it:
- Clean and clear the wood surface before applying
- Apply Cedarshield using a sprayer, brush, roller, or via submersion
- Reapply if necessary in 5-7 years
For best results, apply Cedarshield in temperatures above 45°F to semi-damp wood (morning dew or a light spray-down the night before application will do the trick). You’ll know you’ve achieved a successful application once the Cedarshield fluid will no longer soak into the wood and begins beading on the surface instead. For larger projects with especially thick wood, reapplication may be necessary after 5-7 years.
REMOVE SNOW AND ICE
Whether it’s your deck, fencing, furniture, outbuilding, or garden box, winter moisture is your enemy. Snow, ice, and sleet can add significant weight to outdoor woodworking projects, causing splintering, bending, cracking, and other expensive damage. Shortly after heavy snowfalls and ice storms, it’s good practice to shovel, brush, or otherwise remove excess winter moisture.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SNOW SHOVEL
When it comes to wooden decks and patios, choosing the wrong shovel can have serious consequences. Plastic is the way to go. Metal shovels, while tending to last longer, are typically far too abrasive for delicate wood surfaces.
Equally important is how you shovel. Avoid running the shovel perpendicular to the wooden boards—doing so can wreak havoc on paints, stains, and the general appearance of the wood. Instead, always shovel along the length of the boards, with the grain.
We’ve all seen it before: a branch collects too much snow or ice and snaps under the pressure. While this situation can create a mess in its own right, if your fence, deck or outbuilding is underneath when it breaks, you could have some significant damage to deal with, too. To avoid such catastrophes, simply trim your trees as needed during the colder months.
Salting your driveway and walkways is often a must during fall and winter, but avoid the temptation to salt your deck or patio, too. Salt and the resulting ice melt are infamous for stripping stains and discoloring finishes.