The days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping, rainy days are on the way and we may even get a bit of snow along the way – but what does that mean for our gardens and how can we make sure we’re prepared after summer?
Luckily composite wood is designed to be as low maintenance as possible, meaning any products you have installed into your garden have been created with the winter in mind. That being said, there are still a number of general tasks to keep your garden in good shape as well as a few preservative actions you can take to protect your fencing or decking.
Preparing your garden for the winter months
Let us talk you through a few top tips on behalf of our network of garden installers.
Year on year they see the same mistakes made, and the damage that winter can do to a garden will often result in homeowners playing catch-up throughout the summer months as opposed to simply enjoying their outdoor space.
Rake up fallen leaves and vegetation
One of the fundamentals of lawn care, clearing away fallen leaves with a rake is a common task to ensure that the grass still gains the necessary sunlight. Otherwise, the lawn will be buried underneath a thick layer of fallen leaves.
Remove dead plants and weeds
Removing any dead vegetation and ground weeds is another part of the autumn tick list if you want to keep your garden healthy for the next year ahead. This is especially important as although the current weeds may be dead, they are chock full of seeds that will be dropped in spring.
Important: DO NOT put dead plants or weeds in your compost. Old vegetation often becomes a habitat for pest insects and diseases, so putting these remnants into your composter could contaminate all that you’ve been working hard to cultivate.
Instead, we advise that all of this vegetation is put into eco-friendly bagging (make sure it decomposes quickly) and disposed of. Read more about this issue here.
How composite wood company can help
If lawn maintenance is taking up too much of your time then you may wish to consider artificial grass as a maintenance-free alternative. Replacing a natural lawn with an artificial alternative frees up maintenance time and transforms your garden area into one that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
You may not know, but synthetic grass is fully permeable meaning precipitation will drain through to the ground soil. Small perforated holes in the backing of the sheets allow water to drain through, and the base is made from a highly absorbent material consisting of crushed aggregates. The water is stored in the base layer and drained through slowly, which ensures there is no quick build-up of water.
Looking to find out how much this may cost in your garden? You can use our artificial grass price calculator for this.
Remove any electrical set-ups that aren’t waterproof
Throughout the summer you may have been using some electrical appliances such as a home speaker or lighting system. You’d be surprised by how many homes our installers visit that have wiring left in the decking over the winter.
Removing it while you aren’t using it is the best option, here.
Wash down your decking and disinfect
Decking will need to be disinfected to ensure any rot-causing bacteria is removed.
How composite wood company can help:
Composite wood decking is designed to be robust and durable in the fact of the elements. During the winter you can rest safe in the knowledge that your decking installation is protected by a resin ‘cap.’ This resin provides two key qualities.
- The resin is water-resistant HDPE. This means that where natural timber needs to be kept free of excess water to fight against the build up of rot-inducing mould, composite wood will not suffer the same fate. This makes composite wood an ideal partner for any small garden ponds, or decking in rainy locations.
- The resin is also anti-slip, meaning there is no slipping hazard during the wetter months. Due to the protective resin cap that encases the wood, the build up of rot and algae is a thing of the past. With the upkeep costs to maintain a garden already high, you will be confident in the knowledge that your decking installation is super durable.
In autumn, timber decking will need to be swept, scrubbed and disinfected but composite wood decking’s resin makes this a much easier task. Here are a few tips to ensure your composite wood decking is protected from any damage during the winter months.
How to protect composite wood from winter damage
Composite decking’s durability is well proven, and it is a material that is engineered to retain its robustness through both cold and warm weather.
That said, damage can be done on extreme ends of the temperature spectrum, particularly in the winter when cold snaps can have some unfortunate consequences if you aren’t prepared.
Make sure you’re prepared in advance
While the British climate doesn’t throw up too many extreme snow storms or deep freezes, the ones we do have are typically forecasted well in advance giving us ample time to prepare our gardens and minimise damage.
Collect any outdoor furniture and bring it indoors. If you’re struggling for storage space, then use old bed sheets to cover them up. If there are any dirty marks of build ups of grime on your decking then make sure you’ve cleaned this before the snow arrives. If snow and ice builds up on top of dirt then it can result in a bad stain.
Remove snow carefully, take your time
As mentioned earlier in the article, composite wood decking is waterproof and this means that moisture is not the enemy when the storm finishes and it begins to melt. The enemy is your shovel and any marks you may accidentally make on your decking as you clear the snow away. Avoid using any heavy duty shovels, particularly ones with metal blades – instead, opt for one with a plastic head.
If the snow is just a few inches in thickness then you may prefer to simply use a brush and sweep it away. On the other hand if you’re dealing with a large buildup of snow and ice then be sure to use a de-icer that is:
- Pet safe
- Contains calcium chloride
Clean the decking down with water and a mild soap after the ice is melted to remove the chemicals.
Reinforce your fence for winter storms
Winter storms often bring some heavy winds along with them, and if you aren’t prepared for them then your fence is due to take a battering. Not only will the winds rattle the fence but they could blow debris into your fence causing even greater damage.
It is advised that owners of timber fences should apply a yearly sealant and reinforce the slats to combat winter storms, but composite wood fencing makes this job easier.
How composite wood company can help:
We all know that fencing needs to be tough – it needs to withstand everything the weather can throw at it as well as animals and children. This is why our high strength; durable Composite Wood fencing is ideal. It can withstand ball games and high winds with its robust slats.
Composite wood is a unique blend of wood fibre, plastic polymers and a binding agent to create a denser, more durable material than traditional timber. It is engineered to withstand extreme weather and has been tested to the same effect.