How to winter-proof timber decks

Protect your timber deck throughout winter to keep it looking beautiful for the warmer months to come
Armelle Habib

While the rich honey tones of a timber deck look beautiful against lush green gardens, they need to be maintained and protected from the elements to prevent the colour from fading or the timber slats from cracking.

With winter upon us and the cold weather and rain setting in, it’s time to winter-proof timber exteriors. Here are four steps to protecting your outdoor surface.


Before you waterproof or clean, inspect your deck to ensure there are no cracks, splits or holes. If there are, use a wood filler to correct as this will strengthen the wood and prevent damage from spreading.


To ensure the new coating will penetrate and adhere to the timber, clean your deck with a good firm scrubbing brush and deck cleaner. You can also use a pressure cleaner however if the spray is too strong it may damage the wood fibres leaving your deck looking rough after.


(Credit: Armelle Habib)


If your deck isn’t waterproof, the wood will expand when it rains and contract when it dries, which after time can cause cracks and other damages. Talk to your local outdoor shop about the best waterproofing product for your deck. Ideally, you want to choose a product that repels water while still letting the timber breathe, is transparent and fast drying.

Clear away dead leaves

Keep a brush handy to remove dead leaves or dirt to prevent mould or lingering damp.

Related stories