How to Prepare Your Patio or Deck for Winter

Strong El Nino weather conditions expected for San Diego

This coming winter, weather forecasters are expecting strong El Nino weather conditions  for San Diego and the rest of Southern California.  How to prepare your patio or deck for winter?  This is a question that many of our clients have been asking us.

El Nino is defined by a prolonged warming of the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures when compared with historical average temperature readings.  This anomaly typically happens at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and lasts nine months to two years.

Map of El Nino 2015

El Nino in San Diego

El Nino weather conditions impact weather patterns around the World.  In the United States, El Nino causes warmer and drier than average winters in the Northwest, Northern Midwest and upper Northeast United States.  Significantly wetter winters are present in Northwest Mexico and the southwest United States, including central and southern California.

Earlier this month, experts started to predict that El Nino weather conditions this winter in California could exceed historical records.  Over the last few months, sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have soared to more than 1.2 degrees Celcius.  There were other atmospheric changes such as a large warm area that has moved eastward.  As a result, these same experts are predicting that there is a 90 percent chance that El Nino weather conditions will persist through the Fall and Winter months.  When it peaks, signs are indicating that it could be a very strong event, potentially exceeding El Nino weather events tracked since the 1950s.

There is a very good chance that El Nino weather conditions may impact communities, homes and businesses throughout San Diego and Southern California.  San Diego emergency officials announced preparation plans for a strong El Nino on August 10, 2015.

Mission Beach flooded

Many of our clients throughout San Diego have been asking us about what they can do to prepare their patios and decks for El Nino this winter.  Here is some of the information we have been giving them.

Prepare your patio or deck for a wet winter

As a homeowner in San Diego with a patio or deck, there are several things you can do to prepare for a wet winter as a result of El Nino weather conditions.   The first thing you can do it store or secure your patio or deck furniture.  With the possibility of high winds and flooding, unsecured patio furniture can be thrown against your home, your patio or deck or elsewhere in your backyard, causing damage to not only the furniture itself but also to surrounding structures.

If your patio has drainage, be sure to keep drainage systems open as clogged drains can cause flooding.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare your patio or deck for a wet winter.

  1. Thoroughly clean it
    The first thing to do to prepare your patio or deck for winter is to clean it thoroughly. Make sure to remove all of the dirt, fungus, mildew, algae, rust stains and anything else that has accumulated over time on your patio or deck.
  2. Repair any damaged boards or areas
    When cleaning, look for damaged areas such as rotting wood or exposed areas.  With wet weather, such damaged areas are likely in increase in size leading to growing repair costs.  Replace rotting or damaged boards and fix any damaged areas.  Addressing such damage at this point reduces repair costs down the road and prolongs the life of your patio or deck.
  3. Reapply Finish and Stain
    If you removed finish that was deteriorating or bad, you will need to replace it in order and keep your deck or patio looking best.
  4. Apply a water seal
    After you have applied a finish or stain, you should seal your deck or patio with a water repellant. This will enable your patio or deck to withstand the water and moisture it will endure throughout the summer months.  If you choose to not apply a water seal, the wood surface may start to crack and become warped resulting in possible damage and additional repair costs down the road.

Closing Thoughts

While it may take a bit of time and money to prepare your patio or deck for a wet winter in San Diego, it will not cost a lot of money to purchase the products needed to properly clean or seal your patio or deck.

In our experience, the time and money you spend to prepare your patio or deck for a wet winter, will be time and money well spent when your patio or deck looks great in the Spring.


If you are busy or don’t want to deal with the work involved in preparing your patio or deck, consider giving us a call at (760) 419-5552.  We are patio and deck experts that can help you protect your patio or deck from El Nino weather conditions predicted for San Diego, but also any other possible patio or deck issue you can encounter.

About Republic Construction Inc.

Republic Construction Inc. is a general contractor in San Diego.  We specialize in patios and decks and proudly service the communities of Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and the rest of San Diego County.

Republic Construction Inc. services include:

Deck Design
Deck Refinishing
Deck Repair
Deck Waterproofing
Flagstone Installation
Home remodeling
Patio Covers
Patio Design
Pedestrian Walkways
New Construction


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