longhouse cedar preparing your deck for fall and winter

Preparing Your Deck For Fall & Winter

As we slowly pass through the dog days of August, fall and its wetter, colder weather is just around the corner here on the West Coast. The fall season on Vancouver Island brings bright gold and red leaves, crisp days and cool nights, and plenty of rain. While the fall rain comes as a relief to many after a long dry summer like the one we’ve had, the wetter weather can bring its own challenges and problems.

With deck season winding down over the next month or so, its important to take the proper steps to prevent mould from growing on your deck throughout the fall and winter. Relaxing and enjoying outdoor living on the deck is a great Canadian pastime, but without proper maintenance your deck may can be a source of stress rather than relaxation. Taking good care of your gorgeous cedar deck can make it last upwards of 15 years, helping to avoid an early and very costly replacement.

Our team of experts at Longhouse Forest Products know how to help when it comes to preventing mold growth on your deck all fall and winter long.  


Keep Your Deck Clean and Clear of Debris

A regular cleaning goes miles toward preventing mold growth on your deck.

To begin cleaning, sweep the deck frequently with a soft-bristled broom. Doing so not only sweeps away dirt and damp leaves, but also swoops away microscopic mold spores. Every few weeks should suffice. Just make sure to avoid using a stiff broom that can damage cedar material.

A second step is to clean your deck annually with an eco-friendly oxygen bleach solution. Simply add water to the bleach per the manufacturer’s directions. Sweep first, then apply to decking with a soft scrub brush. Let sit, then spray with a garden hose. 


Seal the Deck

A new deck will last longer with a sealant. This should only be done under dry weather conditions. Cedar decking should be sanded prior to staining to help the stain adhere.

Longhouse Forest Products offers pre-finished custom cut cedar decking. Decks should be resealed every few years for durability and optimum protection from mold growth.


Decrease Moisture Underneath the Deck

If a deck is low to the ground, there might not be enough space for moisture to evaporate. Luckily, there are several methods to increase ventilation.

Firstly, you can drill holes around the perimeter. Otherwise, you can replace the deck skirt with lattice work.

Another option is to install a drainage trench and pipe to direct water away from the deck. Once a trench is dug, a drainage pipe can be placed and covered over. Doing so effectively protects your deck after rainfall.


Deter Mold Growth 

There are several methods of inhibiting mold growth on your cedar deck.

One method involves keeping the deck dry. This is easy if you’re building a new, covered deck. However, there are many other ways to keep a deck dry. Mop or sweep away standing water after rainfall and snow build-up after snowfall. Install eavestroughs and downspouts that direct water away from your deck—repair leaks immediately. 

Be aware of items placed on the deck that can encourage water to collect. Keep potted plants in saucers to catch excess rainwater. Further, let sunlight shine on the deck after heavy rains. Pull back moveable deck coverings to let the sun dry it out.

Don’t clutter your deck with too much furniture as it prevents it from drying out. Instead, place items in storage over the winter months.

Finally, select plastic outdoor area rugs over bamboo. Bamboo tends to take in moisture, thereby fostering mold growth.

The best method of preventing mold from growing on your deck is to keep it clean and dry. However, even a covered deck can have recurring mold growth. Following the steps above helps get rid of moisture build-up on cedar material, even in wet areas – helping to prevent mold and keep your deck in great condition for years to come. 


With our decades of experience in the forestry product industry and numerous accolades, Longhouse can provide the products and the know-how to turn your dream project into a reality. Call us toll-free at 1-800-811-2010 or email us at info@longhousecedar.com to find out more about the products and services we can provide for you.