Fall Week: Prepare your outdoor space for colder weather

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - DIY and design expert Jeff Wilson joined us on WECT News First at Four on Thursday with advice on how to prepare your outdoor space for colder weather.

Wilson said fall and winter is the time when damage happens to unprotected wooden outdoor pieces like decks, chairs and railings.

To protect your investment, he advises you waterproof and winterize.

This year's fall weather has been warm so far in Southeastern North Carolina, so now is the time to get outside and re-do your outdoor pieces before temperatures drop.

When it comes to your deck, here's his advice:

Step 1: Assess the state of your deck
  • The first step to re-doing your deck is knowing what type of treatment it needs. Do a splash test to see if the water seeps in to the wood quickly, or if it beads up on the surface.
  • If the water is absorbed quickly, the wood is unprotected and needs to be treated.
  • Go underneath the deck and push up on deck boards with a screwdriver to check for rotting wood; replace boards that are showing signs of water damage.
Step 2: Clean the deck
  • The second step is to clean the wood to prepare it for the stain/sealer. Wilson recommends a cleaner like Thompson’s WaterSeal 3 in 1 Wood Cleaner to brighten the wood and restore it to its natural color to provide the best base for the stain.
Step 3: Beautify and protect the deck
  • The final step is to apply a wood stain to add beautiful color and protect the wood from rain and mildew.
  • You can apply stain with a paintbrush or paint pad. There are different stain opacities available, including clear, transparent, semi-transparent, and solid.
  • It’s important to know what type of wood you have to determine which opacity is right for you: solid stains can be used for wood that has more imperfections that you’d like to conceal, while a transparent stain can be used to protect and enhance natural wood grain on newer wood with less imperfections. According to Wilson, a good choice for any opacity would be Thompson’s WaterSeal Signature Series Stain & Sealer, which is available at Lowe’s.

Wilson also provides this advice when it comes to winterizing your outdoor space.

He said many homeowners know to take care of their deck before fall and winter hit, although forget about other wood items that can fall prey to rain, snow, and ice. Often-forgotten pieces that need protecting too include railings, chairs, stairs, and mailboxes.

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